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Telephone Conversation With My Crush About Scars In The Quiet Night

—Nweke, Benard Okechukwu

Telephone Conversation With My Crush About Scars In The Quiet Night

centuries ago, i learned from a bird

the next burning forest the metamorphosis

of becoming, so much that sometimes,

i purchase depression in form of risk

to test-run the heart in case

the cyclone carries roofs off houses.

because the readier the heart be, inside out,

less the gravity of wounds when they hatch.

because independence is dependent on

             the quantity of scars.

because playing safe is not staying safe

until you spend nights less a prayer warrior—

into a baby babysitting in blankets.

first, in the interview granted my crush,

she catechized if depression was at the last door.

      i mumbled how the door closed even

      before my reach. how fire lurked

in place of light; in search of light.

& i hissed into my pillow. quite. frugal—

      frugal telephone conversations with

      the rest in the other end, unknown.

      but, i don’t know if silence is gentility

      as much as i know silence is grief

in search of comfort. & i don’t know, too,

if i satisfied her. all i know is,

      every question is a prelude to



NWEKE, BENARD OKECHUKWU (he/his/him) is a Nigerian poet. He is the winner of the 2022 Neptune Prime Poetry Prize, and was shortlisted for the inaugural Akachi Chukwuemeka Literature Prize. He is a penultimate student, photographer, and trainee journalist at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. His works have appeared both in print, and online in the West Trade Review, Querencia Press LLC, World Voices Magazine, Kalahari Review, The Ballast Journal, Art Lounge, Muse Journal, Nigeria News Direct, NND poetry column, Rogue Agent, Mad Swirls, & others are forthcoming in the Quarter(ly) Press. He tweets @romeobenokechukwu.

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