A Poem In Which I’m A Matador, by Ben Okechukwu


A Poem In Which I’m A Matador, by Ben Okechukwu

haven’t you heard them on air who offer sarcophagus on boxing day?

can’t you see them photographed on tv who empty our communal rivers?

watch them caravanning like night bats, flying on borrowed wings.

hearts at home. tongues at the
marketplaces. eyes on London promenade

legs scatter across native corners. a seed must be jointly watered into shades

but what amount of waters grow thistles into sunflowers?

how long shall the mayors of hunger feed fleshy of our grains?

yesterday, mother closeted me: look, there’s no warmth anywhere outside

your fatherland. & do not grow groggy
healing its ruins. if you must paint a

country’s map across the skyline;
to save her a damnedest cross,

spill the last pint of your blood to spare
gloom & doom. say patriotism is rejecting

a foreign pinky bird to make the best music out of a local skylark.

& say election is, not selling the sun to buy candlelight. wield unity & faith like axe & machete—a deforestation & reforestation of this garden.

soon, we will grow haggard to cry
as there’s no ear to hear when every

tongue carries sad poems. i fight, a matador—because i’m a wounded

citizen, & can’t peel off my father’s skin to wear a shameful look.

Nweke Benard Okechukwu is a Nigerian poet, and a cosmetician. A Mass Communication student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.