Image from Flickr.

say on my palms       red textile of ruins are

worn like crest:           signet of a bad child

say on my head       ridges grew like plants

throbbing to break free      and air is scarce

                                  underneath this earth

say i travel distances     on this body of maps

there are streets of scars     named after

projects          and say it begins with letters

professing what they originally are—scars

they break into a date      of age, number

and why? like:         sc/03/11/respect mum

                               sc/11/01/go to church

and others,

be brave as father

because this research has no near end      

       subject bolts    subject break glasses

subject wears gown       imprinted with fear

       and stigma         and subject bolts

into shadows         taller than this body

       living first    without light  then above

this darkness      a failed project of sc



About the Writer

Precious Okpechi studies Biochemistry at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His work has appeared in Praxis Magazine, Kalahari Review, African Writer, and The Muse, and is forthcoming in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Poetry. He is currently the Custodian of The Writers’ Community (TWC), University of Nigeria, Nsukka.