Chinedu Gospel

Bougainvillea

   – for E
& we fall into the throat of this flower    recede unto its tongue &     it rolls us back into a seed &  tosses us
into the trench of its gullet     that familiar forest where.    we are the only leaves greening on a giant poplar tree
night falls on our bodies &  we gather the shards &   make for ourselves a tunnel where we could seek light       &   
night is a bottle that breaks into dawn     until it falls on the wrong ground     which i suppose we are.    which is
to say     in this scripture of love     darkness creeps into morning.    the way air seeps through the aperture of an
opening        &     the sun wakes up to an eclipse in its eyes    (look) the body too is dust until it beds in the arms
of a lover    & becomes a shape of love bleeding a heavy stain of red    but sweetheart in this poem there’s no
blood thick enough to slide a man into the mouth of a coffin     yesterday     i saw death lodged between your lips
&     i called it the science of self-destruction    because baby how do you wake up to the shadow of yourself
unstitched from our seams &     not break like morning with a temperature of grief in your glass of ice       i
know there’s a more silent way to bloodlet    like wearing a smile through the white lie of your face    before
walking into your lover’s eyes      which is to say how can you hold a voice that cannot float on air.     nor leave
a scar on an ear    & still kiss me to a watery sleep       by which i mean        a sweet dream which on every
occasion morphs into a voyage    where i am an atlantic slave sailing towards the america of your body     baby
i want you to grab me by the rim of my eyelash &    undo a tear from my eyes     a weird way to moisten your
ache    & cause it to rupture    in the room we cry together    our lungs an aviary for sad birds      then you leap
into my throat stuck like a fishbone    i cough & cough    but you are not there

Hibiscus

you fall into my palm from the cloud,
dry, as a net that has not known rivers,
as a tongue that has not known hymns
& i trace your body into the sea
of an old country map     i mean, your joy
is an abstract noun bent into history
& you are a country where gloom resides
but, look, there is a stillness that aches 
say, when you hold a glass of memory
in your eyes     say,   when your eye is a
mirror that reflects everything you trying
to leave behind    like the grave of father
like the unburial of your mother’s pain   
like your rabid girlhood where your body
was a city for strange men      but baby, 
the pupils know too much to call 
sadness a stranger      i kiss the desert of your 
throat & a flower sprout between your  lips

Chinedu Gospel

Chinedu Gospel, Frontiers collective IV, is a Nigerian poet who writes from Anambra. He’s the moderator for spoken word poetry at thresposs poetry. His works have appeared in Afro literary magazine, Kissing Dynamite, The rising phoenix review, Midway journal, Agbowo magazine, Feral poetry & many others. When he’s not writing, he’s either playing chess or listening to Aurora’s playlist. Meet him on twitter @gospel79070806 and IG @gospelsofpoetry


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ISSUE III