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Image by Andrew Kuznetsov via Flickr.

In those days when you fed me until I clenched my teeth,

Or spat food in your face, or ran,

You told me with cold eyes that our bodies were mysteries for men.

You fed me and watched me grow, for a man;

And as I grew, your hands lingered on my parched lips.

 

You washed me often,

Soothing my back until I tried to be free from your grip: naked.

In the dark, you spread oil on my body,

And caressed it till my charcoal skin shone.

Sometimes, your hands rested on certain places,

And Mama, amidst shouts meant to remind you of your place, would say,

“Ozugo.”

 

By moonlight you sat me by your side.

You shunned the boys when they teased

That the moon rays on my skin were crystal.

You told me they would touch me. And it would hurt.

And as you warned, your eyes rested on my chest.

 

On one of those nights when we hid under the cassava leaves,

You touched my chest.

You touched it gently, then pressed your body against mine.

Tenderly. Later, cowed,

You told me our bodies needed tending—

For men.

I saw into your eyes and you were still cold.

You said our bodies were mysteries.

You called love-making tending,

Even after you buried your hand between my thighs.

 

 

About the Author:

Adaeze M. Nwadike writes from Nsukka where she is completing a B.Ed/Eng. She was longlisted for the 2015 BN Poetry Award and shortlisted for the 2016 Nigerian Students Poetry Award. She is currently working on a collection of poems.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “Moonlight | Adaeze M. Nwadike | Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Simeon Mpamugoh 2017/09/13 at 13:33 #

    Keep it up Adaeze M. Nwadike. This is a good African offering by you

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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