Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 1



Jideofor Confidence Chiagoziem


Polka-Dots

This taste grants you power,
A changeling,
To traverse between
The folds of black,
And white,
To be grey.




Christening

At the second shot:

Names make up for
What we are not,
Cannot be


It was the first gospel
I believed.

So when your mama
Named you-

Fortitude,

It was her wishing
You wouldn't,
You know,
Give fucks.
But now you do it
Standing,
By the sink,
In the restroom,
On the kitchen table,
All for free.




Clapbacks At A Confessional

Bullets are nosy.

Big hairy hands are always
On the offensive.

Preps taste like collective fuckery.
Rainbows squirt.

I kissed a girl, liked it,
And lied about it.

Our moms ask too many questions
About the wrong things.

Rejection letters weaned me.
I stopped writing
And they stopped coming.

Peace of mind is avoidance.

I bury full-blown confrontations
In a gym-mat.

I take sides,
In a blindfold.




Exorcism

You
         Gouged
                  Your
                           Way
                                    To
                                             The
                                                      Top,
And now
You are all eyes!




Excess Energy

What to do with excess energy:

You love,
You break down,
You archive,
And you love again.




Woke-Love

Your "hello dear"
         Marks the end
                  Of this
                  Bullying-fest
                  And
                  Surreal shoving.
         It snaps me back
         To a role-playing
         Lover.




Ilawo?

Accent is food.
Something wrapped in leaves,
Eaten with fingers.

You don't say how language
Washes over you in mock
Appreciation of a mud bath.

You hold sway,
Like black,
Allowing the guttural
Hit holes in your belly.
Intonations you shed like
Dry leaves.

But you are stronger than language.
So when it moults into a fist,
You dissipate it like a sigh.




Straightening Out

Love comes with the burden
Of wriggling out,
The luxury of unwholesomeness,
And the comfort
Of sobered words.

The "I loved you"
Is the calm
That floors your pain.




Tiredness

Sigh draped in acrylic.

Brisling sparks that is
Your heart.
Bare-surface,
Accusing.

Emptiness is a house
In a house.

Hope smoulders
In a grotto of broken youth.

The au pair hands of death,
Cold.
Forever locked in an embrace.

Heave.
Once.
When fatigue feels like heartbreak.




Warning

Don't tell me to break
Into one,
Two steps,
Sunshine is not moored to our banks,
And happiness is a place not measured
By journeys.

Feed me a mood-soup
And allow me feel
Like it.


Jideofor Confidence Chiagoziem: "I am a 24-year-old queer Nigerian writer and feminist. I studied English and literary studies at the university of Nigeria Nsukka, with interest in world black literature, queer literature and gender performance. This is our first publication in a major literary magazine."




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