as a kid—maami would wrap my fallen tooth
with verses from psalms, mutter prayers
in songs. she sings & my grandfather joins,
then throws it way up our rooftop &
watch another sprout in a week or two.

there’s something about these rituals now as an adult.
i lost everything I never owned—home, baami, my teeth, language
i know how it feels to be in a place so foreign—the feelings haunt
it makes you force the english syllabus out of your igbo tongue

but how can one split one’s tongue into two halves?
how true? perhaps, maami doesn’t know this feeling
she never travelled; she could only travel in her dreams
but how does it feel to lose the language in your mouth
& never find it again?

& now at a riverside in-between two bridges
i wrap my tooth with verses from the psalms, mutter
prayers & watch the hollow for weeks without any answer.
lord—where do unanswered prayers go?












Photo by Jay Skyler on Unsplash