3 Poems by Ifeanyi Ogbo

grayscale photo of babys feet

Forgive me for the parts of you I’m yet to kiss

I used to think there was only one part of the body meant for kisses
but on your body I discovered a thousand places.

You were born naked so I could clothe you with kisses,
my lips were made to adorn every inch of the landscape of your skin.

Kisses on places you’ll never want your mother to read about,
sinful actions too holy for confession.

And when we finally merge into one
my body memorizing every part of yours
I discover there are ways to visit heaven without dying.
grayscale photography of woman and baby

A mother is many things

She’s a poet
she spins songs, sonnets, psalms
of joy, of love, of sorrow, of pain, of life,
saying listen young heart
I’ll be the fourth man in the fire with you.

She’s a prophet
she sees the seed in the tree and the trees in the seed
she points to the sun saying, child
that’s how bright your life will be.

She’s a soldier
with no weapons, she stages a coup on darkness
marching into the wilderness, a one-woman force
praying with her feet, heart, and mouth,
not afraid to face God or the devil.

She’s a magician
with the remedy for everything up her sleeve;
the cure for midnight cough, the right touch to heal bruised knees,
the secret ingredient to complete a meal.
She takes a house, whether a mansion or a shack by the riverside
and turns it into a home.

A mother is many things
if you want to learn diligence,
go watch the ants.
If you want to learn love,
go watch the doves.
If you want to learn courage,
go watch the dogs.
If you want to learn all three at once,
go watch a mother.
a pen on an envelope

Love letter to the soul rebel

It will slowly dawn on you that you are different -
you will realize you are not like the other boys and girls.
At first, you will have no words to describe this overwhelming disparity you feel,
the heavy aloneness that crushes you even in a crowded room.

Every night you will have silent conversations with the moon,
imagining a life where you belong.
You will drift off to sleep with visions of worlds
where you are not a shadow in your story,
a world where you are seen and understood.

You will get called names.
Maybe get in a scuffle once or twice.
The world around you fights against anyone who doesn’t march to its beat,
So, you’d resist, or try to fit in.
Irrespective of the choice you make, you will end up being exhausted at the end of the day.
You will submerge yourself in something
and try to excel at it in a bid to make up for your seemingly dark side,
Increasingly losing yourself in other things – video games, books, music, films, art, food.

One day, you will meet a person or group of people just like you.
People with different parents who will become your new family
You will call them your tribe and create a new language with them.
Staying in the shadows will no longer be comfortable and you will break free.
The world will try, as always, to make you stay on its beat,
but you are no longer comfortable singing a song that does not align with your soul.
You will no longer tolerate the narrative that has vilified you all your life.
You will take the pen and rewrite your story with bold letters.

A brief interview with Ifeayni Ogobo

  1. What country are you from? Nigeria
  2. When did you first start writing? I started writing in high school. I was in my teens at the time.
  3. How has it impacted your life? Writing has liberated me. Just like reading, it has opened my heart. It has become a means for me to share my dreams, thoughts, hopes, and fears. Sharing these words has made me realize I’m not alone.
  4. Have you been published before? Yes, thrice. Two poetry collections (A forever kind of dream and Alive in the memory of stars) and a short story collection (A backpack filled with sunsets)
  5. What’s your favorite part about writing? When people resonate with my writing, that’s my favorite part. 

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