CW: Injury / Trauma from Wartime
Battle lacerates the place of my birth. A day carries the groans of the wounded. The end of the world looms in a cannon’s thunder. I appeal to a tide of grief. Houses in splints, bodies fragmented by the temper of a grenade. Gunfire forms an erasure of a village. Those in trenches make room for God until a mortar shell mangles their heads. What the earth does is lap up the blood, feast upon moans, & wolf the prospect of graves. Half-finished prayers thicken the air. Mouths agape translate into shock. When my fists curve into the opposite of a weapon, they yield a gush of reverence. God, witness the vertebrae of my fears. It is death season.
Michael Akuchie is a poet proud of his Igbo-Esan heritage. His debut chapbook, Wreck (The Hellebore Press), selected by José Olivarez, received the 2019-2020 Hellebore Poetry Scholarship Award. Twitter: @Michael_Akuchie.