[content note: incest, rape]
Pa is unscored ghazal.
alas, my grief shifts note & the storm Lazarus our hairlines.
sorrow playing Jesus, playing resurrection cheap
those buying it—sums up to all the boldness I haven’t mustered
to let Pa know his acts don’t
preach, yet earned me a whooping sum of salvation. I mouthwash the
Psalm, scoop Chronicles into my loin. how best to script him with the right trauma,
without muddling my lap?
late red-riot sums up to how I see my monthlies, unsee the heinous male hardened
hurt. & that of his spouse: mistress, fine-tuning blood to harbor a man making
his bass seem a weapon.
cuts, booming brightly from her thighs.
the sound catches
as Incest in my teenage year. a ripeness so me, it takes a veggie
like Pa to reach out when no one does.
& yes, of all penetrations Pa knifed into my bodice,
swearing if I had absorbed more blades, my puberty won’t have been this rapid. In truth,
understate here. Pa honed this longing to harm my softness. made his jerking device
spill bad blood across our afterbears. It lunatics me, this orgy: an
adult setting his animal upon a minor. a sadness beyond my youth. I’m preteen
& still adoring blood.
rinsing steady, like the red torches if prolonged on my crotch. I burn for a thing I haven’t
voiced, say blade. an attempt to play Pa in my own trauma—sums up to who really is at
here’s my stand: It sucks how Ma suffered in your hands. how your
hands suffers me. It sucks how you jut your bony weapon of bliss,
expecting me to suck it up. you soil my years with vermillion blood,
I revel in its color. here’s the pus, furious with white grace. yet, stinks to know I’m trying
not to cut you off, despite
all the gashes in this poem. I grieve, the countless times a
throbbing slice of light finds your palm strangling a teabag. such needless
violence, first known by me, then Ma, now this porous sac. Pa—the knife & haunting
minute. he had shoved Ma into oblivion.
my heart skips at his footstep. or do I assume my life a
bonus track? I let the poem throw more hint on this. say, my knock-knee is a repetition
of pardon. what then is Pa if not a misdemeanor? I unlock his palms. dream them neat
& it was. waking up
sums up to a
sums up to a wound
sums up to how I hurricane these stanzas &
still not done here.
the storm Lazarus my fear.
Nnadi Samuel (he/him/his) holds a BA in English & literature from the University of Benin and is the author of Nature knows a little about Slave Trade (Sundress Publication, 2022). His works have been previously published or are forthcoming in Suburban Review, Seventh Wave Magazine, NativeSkin Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly West, FIYAH, Fantasy Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, The Deadlands, Commonwealth Writers, Jaggery, Foglifter, The Capilano Review, Lolwe, The Spectacle Magazine, Maine Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Gutter Magazine, Carte Blanche, Trampset, and elsewhere. Winner of the Canadian Open Drawer contest 2020, Miracle Monocle Award for Ambitious Student Writers 2021 (University of Louisville), Penrose Poetry Prize 2021, Lakefly Poetry Contest 2021 (Wisconsin), and the International Human Right Arts Festival Award (IHRAF) New York 2021. He is the Bronze winner for the 2022 Creative Future Writers Award. He tweets @Samuelsamba10.