Broken Yellow is Stay, poetry by Chibuzor Nwaoha

the physician says that my

sister had a miscarriage,

that life & death swindled

the baby in her womb & that

her nosebleed is a blessing

from the petals of her

husband’s punches & slaps

which succeeded in remodeling

her jaw like clay pots in the

house of Ogidi. i pressed a

stethoscope on her chest &

heard reverberations partitioned

into series of hidden wars &

masked anger; her body is

war & with no core, for she

has learnt to be shaped like

the amoebae & to be elastic

like the jigidas round the waist

of my mother. think of your

husband in a penitentiary,

being dismembered to death

by drawing and quartering.

she says: no! i love him & have

adapted to the force & have

resurrected from my yield &

breaking point. life can be a

hand dipped into a bag filled

with balls of different kismet.

what it picks is what you have.

i have been pondering the anger

that was buried in the waters,

in the body of the weak as water,

& all I can see is beam of light

in the eyes of the dying chick

being carried by a raging eagle.

the coulee married to darkness

& a pinch of shrapnel eaten up

in silence. she can’t go back home

because broken yellow is stay

& she has lost her way home

because everything seems pained.

last year, she was diagnosed

of a benign insomnia, she sits

in the heart of the empty house

crying away the river of her eyes

all night & when she holds

herself tight, she feels the blank

space between her arms & her

thighs. she imagines sitting in

a collapsed building located

in the penumbra shadow of

the sun & creating bridges

between her empty fingers

& asking the gun to go off

in silence. autumn leaves

held their sighs, their retrograde

metamorphosis in the blueness

of an ocean being trudged

by a person who has lost

today & tomorrow. i don’t

know a safe place to be but

she does know a war zone

to live since she is bonded

to a different figure by an

adhesive force, by love.

love is a room where names,

identity, honor, wealth,

but endurance can be lost.


Cibuzoe Anthony Nwaoha is a Nigerian poet who lives in Orlu, a sleepy city in the south eastern part of Nigeria.

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