Photo credit: MItodru Ghosh. Source: Unsplash.

I write tributes on my palms, plait my body into

grief. Each day we live is a parting tribute to

Earth. Flowers nailed

to a cross. Wall portraits displaying dreams

and memories.

My body grows on the edge. I burn incense to

mourn the sea.

There is something that keeps bringing the living

to the dead,

but you have to read scientific forecasts on

Climate Change

before you understand why Moses broke his

compass and hung himself

half a mile into his destination. Waterbirds on

turbid lakes.

Desert expansion, the fifteenth grief. How else

do you poison your oxygen? When

we were

little, they told us that the urge to live

is more

intense when you are close to death. How come

we’ve learned

to catwalk through a warming climate and

joke about the

night you spilled talcum powder on yourself

and threw your

body into the sink? Someday I will write how the

sun now pours into my garden, erubescent,

like molten steel.

I will write about that recent flooding that washed

off my city into the news.

By God, I wish there was a Noah to turn all our doubts

into an ark.




Onyekwelu Chiwenite Kingsley is a Nigerian writer. He studies pharmacy at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He won the Christopher Okigbo Poetry Prize 2019 and was the 2nd prize winner of the Newman Write Contest 2017. In 2019, he was listed in the Top 100 of the Nigerian Students’ Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Kreative Diadem Annual Writing Contest.