Kechi Nomu was born in 1987. She grew up in Nigeria under two Nigerian dictatorships. Her poems have appeared in Saraba Magazine, The ANA Poetry Review, Expound Magazine, Sentinel and Brittle Paper. She writes film and theatre reviews for Olisatv. Her short stories have been workshopped at the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop and the Caine Prize Short Story Surgery. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared online and in print.
Note to the Boy Kicking the Stone
The boy’s body
to pick the stone
And you see how
his body too is a road
Once or twice,
Here, a story begins
Old Bones Seeking Wooden Crosses
Your father is a sinner.
You have seen the fire
in his eyes before it burns
other people in their dreams
Your heart, when it becomes too big
to hold in one place, you walk
as if everything is a debt
payable in sweat
The blood sometimes on these streets.
Here, on a jetty in Boyo
you sit, and let your legs dangle over the edge
like the other boys
for their fathers.
You want to walk on water so bad
Or tell your father you know
what it is to sin
But you let him pile these dreams, broken, on you
Instead. They become the stones.
You cast them
Watch them sink:
Seeking wooden crosses.
How Life Becomes a very Different Thing
it starts with a road
where a boy dies driving a Suzuki:
a very adult thing.
There is a breeze on this day
when you are both still twelve
with his white shirt,
before his body falls
you do not look away
from the ways that things come apart
inside him this is the story
of what it means too, to touch a lovers’ body
to feel the pores where they bleed nonstop
where the sweat is the small, dead dreams too.