by Chisom Okafor

You’ll never meet her eyes

because her eyes are tales of a tense

cobra’s body

swollen under a joint spell of massaging palms,

and walking sticks, and tennis bats, and cashew sticks

and joysticks…depending on how long.


Your little girl is as well, a stick, just

she fails to meet the specification

and she isn’t anything short of an unnamable,

hole in a lavatory

labeled ‘men only’.

The grandpa next-door grinds brown teeth and

tells you that girls should be cloned octopuses


because she’s 13, and out of school

and out in a school of hard knocks

and has bus-parks for classes and trailer-drivers

for head boys, and for headmasters, grandfathers

who appear at morning assembly, to convince you

in whispers, how girls became women,

never remained

girls after first penetration


you’ll routinely pull her legs apart,

and search and claw and dig,

and read oddities into her insides

until there no longer is resilience in her eyes.

Only vulnerability.


Chisom Okafor

Chisom Okafor studied Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His poem was second runner-up in the maiden edition of Nigerian Students’ Poetry Prize. He lives in Enugu State, Nigeria.



by Osuji Charles Chisom 

They screened off the scene so we

could not see what they saw.

The blood-coated sheet that kissed

the cold floor; and the object of their

study sleeping at a corner – nude and



So we let them do what they do best –

hauling her off on a stretch and resting

her on a table in Death’s room, using

stuffs on her we hate; stuffs like Jagular

tubes, scalpels and saws, perhaps, to

pleasure curiosity and frustrate the



Prior now, at dawn, the sirens had

wailed me out of a million-dollar bed.

And pulled me to my curtains,

and parting, I entered her faculties –

she was the flower that faltered in summer;

the lonely moon that pleasured the night sky.

She had groaned and moaned like a

latched cow.

Who could have heard her when her

mouth was muffled with snow and sloe,

And her cheek – the cleft of beauty –

cuddled with cruel kisses?


Lying on the ceiling and looking up the

Floor, she felt light creep out of

her lungs – like a fatigued millipede –

deserting her to the cold hand

of Death. Oh! How she bowed out of

breath, a defeated dawn, handing us

the baton to finish the struggle!


She expected us to hide under black robes,

clutching briefcases, walking down

the aisle and finding a spot before a

judge to display the law in public eye.

She expected a vigil behind a clustered

desk, our eyes poring over prints like

it was our last day on the job.

She expected much but had little;

our pockets were crazy and tasty.

We are lawyers, bred to uphold Justice.

She knew this and needed this,

but what we offered instead

were flowers on her tiny grave.


We saw her raped in the open field,

cut inside out and sprawled out on

the street like plucked feathers.

All we could do was flash silver teeth,

pop bottles, and dine on gold-plated

tables – money speaks, Madam.


Osuji Charles Chisom  is a final year student of Economics in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. He believes poetry is the best medium for expressing thoughts and imaginations.


by Obehi Aigiomawu


Darkness in our bulbs

Darkness on our skins

Nightfall, stingy with the breeze


Big round moon above

And I, a solitary watcher


Our phone batteries are dead

Houses with generators

Have become

More attractive than the moon

IMG_20170702_160510_480Obehi Aigiomawu is a final year student of English and Literature at the University of Benin. When she is not reading, she is either drawing or daydreaming about travelling round the world.

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