3 Poems by Emmanuel Ojeikhodion


Definition of a Body

  1. When asked how to define a body
    in the language of humans,
    i tell them a body is a tower
    plastered with lying colours
  2. It is when you prop it
    to form into an obscure imagery
    suffocating God’s hands of creation.
  3. It is when you throw it
    into a dark house
    and it accepts open connections without passwords.
  4. A body is
    when you reject mother’s hands
    on your first bath
    and it decodes the touch of your lover’s.
  5. A body is when you scream
    like a burning house
    while rehearsing a play of mummy and daddy.
  6. A body is when
    you come out
    on a shining day
    and glow
    like a roasted plantain of three colours.

Things your Father Buried inside You

At age 20, your life is a nightmare searching for tiny lights
in your body.
While you were 15, your father tried drowning inside your well – the one
between your thighs.
On two occasions, you had refused, and thereafter,
you made him taste out of it. 

Your feet bear the name of every city
with your sleek body stopping men to conquer.
The demon is what pushed you to advance your flight in the trousers of men.

You escape from home.
The City is your family — Michael Akuchie
Mother named you Theresa.
You now answer the name Chernobyl
Your past turns you into a girl-god who wishes to find self-healing.
How do you let out peace from your body when you suffer it to speak freedom?
Is it not by freeing it to forget him?

Girls like you are countries who carry disjointed faces of silence.
You drain Father’s blood from your body but have forgotten one’s familial blood runs through the veins.

Your life is one silhouetted into shades of many colours.

Inside You Lives a Burning City

You sit deformed like mendicants along Oshodi bridge. I once told you
anger is a demon that rips hearts apart.

The D. P. O. says you have been arraigned for a court sentence.
Grief is how you stare with your eyes now, looking at your wheel-chaired mother who thinks of you as her only hope of walking again.

The world is a mirror condensed with many looks finding their colour.
So are you now.

Inside of you lives a burning city too large to be quenched.

Adufe died as a result of the demon you possess.
Your life is hardened like a teen’s breast yet to find taste.
You are your own death mused in broken songs.

Emmanuel Ojeikhodion writes from south south, Nigeria. A student of English and Literature at the University of Benin, he dances to the music of silence as a process of self-realization. His poems have appeared on Praxis magazine, Kalahari review, Peeking cat, Pangolin review, Deracine magazine and Ngiga review. Say hello to him on Twitter @hermynuel.

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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