Poetry by Roseline Mgbodichinma



You start with an egg (àkwá)
In a new country / an egg is an omelet
In your nostalgia / it is the warmth of your
Mother’s womb / It is craving the arms that nursed you / Whether they be living or dead.

Nostalgia is an airborne disease / Causing you to battle memory with flight / The longing you possess is communicable / So you spread your affection like seeds / Only to welcome weeds instead.



You continue with a cloth (ákwà)
Nakedness itself is a recipe for hunger / So you clothe yourself /with music / with hope / with words / with long-winded faith.

The patterns on your Isiagu become shelter /Every Ankara / Ibhayi/ George / Danshiki/ or Kente becomes a transcendence / a way (Ụzọ)
A step closer to something more exciting than /the weather / long walks / or bagels.



You pause for tears ( ákwá)
When you learn that death may be a kind of home / And living is a kind of return
The kind that tries to eat the world, using indigestion as a roadmap.



You end with a bridge (àkwà)
& learn that returning is like crossing
There is home at the foot / At the start / in the middle / Or At the end of a bridge.




A Hibiscus City

A girl on TikTok says there is no love on the Eiffel Tower,
That the lights aren’t always up
That there are long queues
And crowded restaurants
That romance is missing from Paris streets
That the city is in lack of warmth,

A girl on TikTok is shocked
The black star in Ghana
Is on the roadside and not a park
Is stunned
Lagos is not Nigeria’s capital
And the city
Is not the only place where
Hustle is made

All this poem proves is that
A Bordeaux from Paris may be everything
Like a hibiscus tea {Read as Zobo}
And concierge is just a fancy word
For a tour guide

All this poem proves is that
Every country
Has a section cosplaying
As paradise
Every country has a place
In need of rewriting.

Roseline Mgbodichinma is a Nigerian writer passionate about documenting women’s stories. Her work has appeared online and in print and are published in Poet Lore, Agbowo, Isele magazine, Swwim, Native Skin, Down River Road, JFA human rights Journal, and elsewhere. You can her reach her on her blog at http://www.mgbodichi.com