How do we even say this: that rejection is one overused phrase drugged into every writer’s junk mail.

perhaps, you have euthanized a dying cat before,

mopped the lanes on her cheek so hard her whiskers barely survived.

perhaps you have peeled her paws;

showed her nails so much affection she claws ten years out of her lifetime.

perhaps you have managed her blood cancer,

sedated her skin with massages to spare her the trauma of meeting her furs empty.

know this—thatyour body memorizes a part of this rejection too,

&, or perhaps how to unmould into its own billboard of acceptance.

a budding poet learns about dying from his cat.

today, I christen my first name in the crimson dye hueing out of his body like John– the Baptist.

as I write you, a magazine trends their rejection for a manuscript I died to donor my life support,

my muse couldn’t sub me for too long.

get this straight: living is no dark routine,

& brokenness isn’t the only reason for every poet munching a sad day.

today floods so hard, the lanes on my cheek outwears its grief.

I have seen my homeboy own these cheeks too.

I pout through his gloom, my lips baked into liquid combustibles.

on my jaw, every homeboy expires like a tree.

they shed every floor a leaf, every bird an orange of sweet, every axe my bluntness.

In this draft, my rhyme schemes to publish them in skillful pentameters.

I marry my soft spots, to discover that I have a loved one dimpled in this labyrinth.

a poem rescues itself towards my cheek,

but with new flatmates on the block, who, just who would like to share a room with a suicidal poet?

Nnadi Samuel is a graduate of English & literature in the University of Benin. His works have previously published in Artifact magazine, Inverse Journal, Awakening Review, The Collidescope, Jams & Sand magazine& elsewhere. He got shortlisted in the annual Poet’s Choice writing & was the 2nd prize winner of the EOPP 2019 contest. If he is not writing, you find him reading out memes on Facebook @ Samuel Samba.