“benji of the solitary window” by Chibuihe-Light Obi


because he chose to go with the
night rain -washed off the brown of earth, gushing
into tributaries, whipping up an aromatic blend
of earth and air. because he renamed himself dispair, hung like a
piece of laundry put out to dry. here, everyone is a monsoon.
lagos in july. too damp to leap. too heavy for wings. a body of
water held loosely by sadness,
searching for freedom along
shorelines. skinpores. escape routes known and
unknown to boys his age.
because he said blue is amber, ocean wound, unsalted water…
a sinking soul does not go down in haste, as if
made of stone or clump.
it floats. bubbles up bellywise. upon a toàt of china, he curls out.
bending to a whiff of spasm. craddling his nether region. even
death is a kind of victory here. why a man downtown chose the
path of noose, wrapped tightly in his own breaths and dreams
like a stillborn. because a blue ribbon collects blood. bandages
to wrist, to wreaths. baby clothes. a stuffed sock. here, death is
rebirth. last. last. he is taken down. blown by a wind. driven in a
hearse. surging in a current. two glass chinstraps raised to foam
and saltwater. a toast to this shadow of mine going home
through another road.


Chibuihe-Light Obi is a poet,memoirist and creative photography enthusiast. His writings aim to interrogate language, identity and memory; to probe silence and confront stereotype. His works have been published in places like The Kalahari Review, Praxis magazine, Expound magazine, Brittle paper, Black boy review, Sun newspaper and other places. He won second place in the BABISHAI NIWE Haiku prize, and has a chapbook coming from Praxis magazine.

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