Thursday, May 6, 2021

Carrying my Father's Silence by Nnadi Samuel

how warm you chew your tongue
into disremembering the taste of a dialect.
grief, the calm to soften your teeth,
& sponge a weak phrase to its neat wall of pink.

this is how you kill a mother's worth:
sludged wrists crushed to calories,
lost from ceaseless count of meals by how much 
her darkness shortchanges you.
your lips ramming into each other.

you braid your head into a migraine,
& let the style eat you.

silence, like a mohawk,
stands at ease.
getting my attention is one tough chore,
you could break your lips,
& still not get the dry sound to pulse me.

all my fun sides staked to claims:
that I feigned my father's accent,
& sighs are how he made words look like sin.

I am sifting into this new world,
skipping my meals,
becoming what I eat when I starve things of my lips.

I now lust for days when noise grooms my stature,
tongue amplified with the thirst for a crazy accent— 
this dialect that should know me.
Biography:  Nnadi Samuel holds a B.A in English & Literature from the University of Benin. He is a phonics tutor suffering from long depression & speech disorder. Winner of the Canadian Open Drawer Contest 2020 & Pushcart nominee. He is the author of Dumb Mandate (forthcoming). He reads for U-Right Magazine. He tweets @Samuelsamba10. 

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