I am learning how to leave
how to hug many lonely roads
walk through the roads in pains
how to mourn those lost brothers
without feeling guilty-wandering
this is what life has taught me:
how to pack my bag and walk,
walk to the river bank and stay
I’ve been forgotten in between
fingers, two unequal fingers
i know I am a street shattered,
littered with filth agonies.
finding home in a graveyard
finding solace in the bosom of
emptiness and foliage of vacant
lonesomeness taught me this:
how to name the street a home
how to hold death in my pocket
how to talk to the wind as a friend
building sadness and excitement
when a dice of stupidity is thrown
fools like me look for gold of sanity
these broken poems in my head
hurts, wish I could split them like
Igbos’ hearts, like Edo and Delta!
the history created has made me
learn more on how to lose home
in every moon, in every star
but am afraid of what the streets
talk about me in their closet.
the street taught me how to name myself ,
how to make life miserable to people with arms and weapons around my neck and hands.
how to call a knife a spade and
a spade; a hoe without feeling guilty.
how to lay wait for girls and make
them scream out loud in dark places
where men fall in and come out
the street taught me how to pronounce these words: Bread and water.
I was born without nipple to my mouth,
my mother became religionist making temples her home.
My father, whose shadows I fell under reek of bottles of beers and found satisfaction from the twisted public holes of skimpy sluts.
The street made me, I am part of the street; a ghetto poet, ghettoising.
life pushed me into the den of wildness
there was time I visited hope and hope failed me yet the end didn’t come.
I whimpered, but life must go on.
You know these words are broken,
I lost my soul scribbling them on slates
I picked every word I say from the ghetto.
I won’t stop this game, forgive me like
I forgave myself when I sliced a knife
into a Bishop’s throat,
like when I shot a wealthy man at Nnewi
like when I set the church ablaze for treating me like a Lepal at restitution.
like when I slaughtered an Imam for a false doctrine.
Just forgive me ’cause of this ghetto sermon playing in my head.
I was made the black sheep by broken marriage
I do not know when the world begin to trade a boy like me for bloody adventures!
they made beast from baby like me,
when was it signed into our constitutions to overlook dregs of the society- children in the street?
how do you hold your bodies together
knowing you’ve held a future in your tongue, your arms and weapons?
begone! There is no point being who I am…
Don’t leave me to perish! I need a shoulder to lean on!
©John Chizoba Vincent