On some Shapeshifts, I Wish Myself a Ferrous Poise

Nnadi Samuel

By Nnadi Samuel

glossy with aging, in that green conceited morning.
rot terrifies me.
fossil, barreling through my measured loin.
I conserve light at the slightest crack of dawn,
from things that pass for broken:
my delicate mother. the thunderstick upshot high,
where greening kites in rebellion. where if we must be virtuous; it must be now.
how we pollinate the tortuous air,
feigning aerobic to a sky laced with gravity— ebbing towards collapse.
lonesome apocalypse, armageddon bred.
I kneel into every war root-roughened, land grabbing,
naming each soil after my fingerprints seeding long stains.
tuber crop nurses no wish for height & crutches:
costumes that come natural as I, inactive in this vegetative state,
retiring from life on a third limb. once, young saps take turn in mockery,
unknowing a body like mine would sudden on them.
I long for rebirth in a nursery of shrubs.
I long for company, for the effrontery of gulping places.
going barefaced each dig from the trowel, with a knowledge that’ll stem on fertile lips.
A youngling resumes adulting; too ripe for joy, too healthy with risk fruiting loudly.
permit me all that productivity for each moment grief finds me, spineless
witnessing my elasticity when I stretch to bear all of that strain, that plantain exhaustion.

Nnadi Samuel(he/his/him) holds a B.A in English & literature from the University of Benin. His works have been previously published in Suburban Review, Seventh Wave Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Gordon Square Review, Trampset & elsewhere. Winner of the Miracle Monocle Award for Ambitious Student Writers 2021 (University of Louisville), Lakefly Poetry Contest 2021 (Wisconsin), & the Canadian Open Drawer contest 2020. He is the author of “Reopening of Wounds.” He tweets @Samuelsamba10