Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 3



Painting my Mother’s Body

Nnadi Samuel


you bleach your bones with the bite of a neat gunpowder,
teething home in the flesh of a docile boy churned two ashes ago.
you bath in your darkness, owning multiple weakness.
veins pulsed into shapes,
like worms on the face of a salt treat.
i lick into you, stroking my tongue to the weight of your calling,
chasing my death far away from your body:
a peel of scanty pores, skimpy & piped with the want of blue seizures.
rumpled hairlines twinning us alike-- a novel sting of Siamese,
i owe you my dread to cherish as a skipping rope.
the day you mould your footsteps, you learn to jump.
you collide with the sky to name me after your first misbirth,
buried in the warmth of a beautiful loin toning to adopt you in the right fabric.
like a painter, i feed your hair with colors,
fold your nails & mop the surface white with the luck of a towering bird.
i touched your scar
& it broke into rhythm, pouring high notes to drown the river in my tiny chest.
easing slowly, i drug every drip into the lips of this moment,
tracing the blood stain mooning on the ground to a palette knife gushed with rawness--
the violence of steel.
nothing seems real here,
i do not wish myself a safe return to this body.
conjuring the night, i frame this darkness,
& rocked it's edge with a dawn syndrome-- thick enough to die by it's own current.
the shock of this painting leaves your body steaming,
cooked alive by light.
too many ions keeps it warm.



Nnadi Samuel: "I am a graduate of English & literature from the University of Benin, living in Lagos (Nigeria). My work has been previously published in Port Magazine, The Gordon Square Review, Artifact magazine, Inverse Journal, Canyon Voices, Awakening Review, The Collidescope, Jams & Sand magazine, Journal Nine, Praxis magazine, Ngiga Review & is forthcoming in the Quills, Lunaris and Blue Nib journal. I won the Splendor of Dawn Poetry Contest April 2020, got shortlisted in the annual Poet's Choice award & was the second-prize winner of the EOPP 2019 contest. My first chapbook, Reopening of Wounds, is forthcoming in the WRR publisher. I am a co-reader at U-Right Magazine."




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