in my chest,
where i’m the butler of grief, i find a nook
to scrape off its brand from the back of my right hand.
my breadknife whetted into a dagger
thirsts for the end of my loyalty but i am shivering i shiver
knowing self harm to mean; cutting my placenta
affixed to its belly of a bittersweet spring.
this gets me wondering if i’m the reincarnation of a black slave —
one, who missed the whirring of lashes;
& the moans of his master’s tastebuds
after bleeding sweat-sweetened sugarcane juice.
i’ve crushed mother’s blessings
to flavor his wine & for so long; as the nightfall in the eyes of a bat.
[crushed •transitive verb• /kɹʌʃ/: a sound no one ever heard,
because stealth is how you stifled
the deafening cry into the imagery of an overripe grape
betwixt the sole of a schoolboy’s sandal,
& the tongue of silence]
my dagger blooms a wreath for freedom
on whose gravestone i now stand to wear this poem a crown of thorns.
Martins Deep is a Nigerian poet & photographer. He is passionate about documenting muffled stories of the African experience in his poetry & visual art. Writing from Kaduna, or whichever place he finds himself, the acrylic of inspiration that spills from his innermost being tends to paint, from the colouring book of his imagination, various depictions of humanity/life, & to spill ink on placards of protests.