the suicide of young idris by Chibuihe Obi

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

                                                                     august 28, 2017



tell me it was the thirst                     as the flower opens its mouth to gulp air

                                                          as he defied the glass to gather sunlight

                                                          in his palms               as it spills like pollen

                                                          on the trees         on the lawn grasses below

                                                          his palm    where the nail has gone through

                                                          his palm where the blood has caked into an ache


tell me it was the window                 as he birds into the july sky    the only moment 

                                                          he is safe enough to contemplate freedom 

                                                          as he picks his snickers and looks up the long road                

                                                          towards the lighthouse     where every lamp bulb is

                                                          a boy's body begging to be loved despite the cracks


tell me it was the waves                    as he tries to outrun this violence in the presence of water

                                                          as he dips himself farther into the throat of the sea 

                                                          farther into hate        sharp waves slashing him like blade

                                                          his skin which is also gay        his bone which is also gay

                                                          his tongue which has tasted both love and hate out of  the

                                                          wet lips of men

Photo of Chibuihe Obi

Photo of Chibuihe Obi

Chibuihe Obi,  the co-founder of Kabaka Magazine is a fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency. His writings have been published or forthcoming in Brittle Paper, Expound Magazine, Praxis, Kalahari Review, 14: an Anthology of Queer Art, Mounting the Moon, etc. He is the winner of Brittle Paper Award, The Babishai Niwe Haiku Prize, and has been nominated for the  Pushcart Prize. His is currently on the Gerald Kraak Award shortlist.