Contrition with Cowries & Blooms

Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan

By Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan

Once again, May ends
with my bare hands forgetting

the gracious works
they owe me;

I who was forsaken to the
mercy of April — a sinner

who speaks nothing but apology,
slivering the woodland in guilt—

to be lost in a forest is to be
so close to evergreen;

a new testament arising from
my crucifixion, each skewer,

a double blade consonant
waging war on the vowels

of my body & there’s everything
peaceful with withering— the

silence of a felon in your thorny
throat, begging to be spared

from too many cuts; he knows
that no matter how long

you cleanse your mouth, he will always
come out of it as a sinner.

But what is forgiveness if not
bullets sparing soldiers,

anarchy dragging laws through
wars to stardom

when everyone is busy burying
their bloody hands in pogrom?

Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan (he/him) is a keen writer of Izzi, Abakaliki ancestry. He is a Final Year Medical Laboratory Science Student, a Forward Prize nominee and the winner 2021, WAN–Cookout Poetry Prize. He is found of his poorly lit room where he tweets @wordpottersull1 and he believes that asking for a pact of light grows him into a greenhouse. He has works published or forthcoming at IS&T, The Shore, B’K Mag, Tilted House, Journal Nine, Sub-Saharan Mag, Analogies & Allegories. Wondrous Real Mag, Rulerless, The Deadlands, TSTR and elsewhere.