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Clueless & Briefly Gorgeous

Clueless & Briefly Gorgeous

Clueless & Briefly Gorgeous

by Nnadi Samuel

I buy too much, for someone of my stature.
could pawn a skinny metaphor to purchase a plump skin.
its reputed in our lineage— to daydream a life that shreds our pockets.

I want to settle for it.
for my step mum’s balcony, apportioned to a funeral of luggage:
her mnemonic fabrics, ghosting each bulb.

she spends her off days dashing in & out of a fashion house,
contemplating her lavish of cash on Cashmeres.

twice, she escaped a town adorned with guns— like it were a boutique,
observing the runways in Iowa
& restocking on each of her siblings, till there’s nothing left to mourn.

stole a lifetime of thread and cashmere to sew each ripened wound.
& what heinous mouth names this dear affair, a curse?

Father says she carries all of it:
too much holes in her midriff, yawning for its own cure.
we have stitch in common.

evenings. I stroll casual, down acres of tarred brocades.
argue the stupid price tags.
merit a gorgeousness, profusely as a shimmering sweat.

I reek of a longing: to dress my loin in a loamy state,
scare the world into erosion,
till every of my sadness is silt rinsed thoroughly as a soiled broth.
the river is God’s bright wound, mirroring my loss.

Right now, I rite my skin into a ready ablution.
the month a native strips me,
each hole in my midriff stays vacant as a curse.
what way to refund a dignity, red between my thighs?

It’s indecent, to be gorgeous here.
we stock on the right mask, to keep us repulsive.

say, you find harm to outpace. thank the fitness of foot.
thank the femur & the calcium that fills it with tonight’s horse race.
thank the sudden show off & accident of breath.

I pick sad designs, to outdress grief’s sorrowful outfit.
name it self-harm. I’ll prize each by it’s hurt.

Glory be to the needle, the lining & callous thread that stitches this wound.
a religion of silk, prying my hands open.

the ache wants it all, so I say:
take, this body broken for you— in the same way I’m stomped out.
my blood; a new margin line.
as often as I bleed, in deviation from the norm.

Nnadi Samuel (he/him/his) *holds a B.A in English & literature from the University of Benin. His works have been previously published/forthcoming in Suburban Review, Seventh Wave Magazine, NativeSkin lit Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly West, FIYAH, Fantasy Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, The Deadlands, Common Wealth Writers, Jaggery, Foglifter, The Capilano Review, Lolwe & 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) & the International Human Right Arts Festival Award(IHRAF), New York 2021.* He got an honorable mention for the *2022 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest.* He is the author of “Reopening of Wounds” & “Subject Lessons” (forthcoming). He tweets here.