WHAT IS YOUR BODY
by Onyekwelu Chiwenite Kingsley
Shortlist (Top Six) of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)
And he throws my body open, the way you
move into a river
when someone is drowning. And my body
is a dark room filled
with rotten birds that spit blood through their
He says I want to love you.
He says why won’t you let me love you?
But there is something rising into my tongue,
it tastes like fire,
it tastes like knife blades slitting my skin into
halves. And in my
body it’s drizzling I can’t find my voice.
He says you have to understand.
He says you have to let me in.
And my body bursts apart the way a river
flows out of your
mouth, the way a song drowns inside your
throat. It’s bleeding
and soft and filled with pain.
He says what is wrong with you?
He says lie down let me love you.
When your body is a pathway, you build walls
inside it to obstruct
the steps of sleepwalking men. But what is
your body when it is a country?
What is your body when he spreads you out
like a map to
claim a whole nation for himself?