Apple Fruit

unfortunate as it is, i come wearing the burden

of a seed having hung too long from its branch,

said to be the curse of my father’s ghost still

chattering from between my teeth.

i dug him a grave but cannot leave him behind.

like a good son, i still drag the weight of

his sins around, my original inheritance.

i have stitched his skin over this skin / worn

his ears over these ears / hidden the pink flesh

of his laughter inside this mouth.

tell me, when trying to pluck an apple from a tree,

what do you reach for?

                        the fruit, or the branch?

how high do you throw?

answer me this, what do you do when the apple,

plucked, falls too far from the tree?

Holy Land

perhaps if i try hard enough, i can invent a country,

any country, but one in which i am free,

my eyes gazing outward, the hills.

upwards, the sky & its breathlessness:

the vast face of God.

i imagine children running along the edges of the

coastline, fists pumping the almost-dry air, quick feet

rushing towards the water.

            & this is safe.

there are no storms. no sinking ships. no fishes sent

to hold the bodies of men in their too-empty bellies.

no prayers to drowned gods.

they are running towards the water

& it will open a way for them.

God’s children will pass through on dry land.

& if they want, its silk surface will still long enough

for them to walk on.

this is how we Jesus.

                        this is how we salvation.

claim this holy land as our own.

                        & here, in the faces of these little

children, is where we most resemble God.

Chibueze Obunadike is a young Nigerian writer and poet whose work seeks to investigate self and the fragile nature of human identity amongst other things. His poems are published in the Best “New” African Poets 2018 Anthology and were shortlisted for the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Writing Contest. He was also a joint-first recipient of The Singing Bullet 2019 scholarship award. He spends his time watching old cartoons and listening to new music. You can find him on Instagram @watchmans_flame