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Everyone wants to stay afloat, when the truth is that we must learn to breathe underwater

        The unhappy shores of morning. & 

then my country, a raging tide. 

                     The sun is such a beauty when you can look it in the eyes. 

       The bruises are just as bearable as old age.    

        I hold light the way a sponge holds water.

            Yet, I still open a door & seek first, a lantern.           Uh! 

Men do not always fall, you know, father would say,

                                             they falter like sea waves. Which is to say, 

if all is well, then all is ephemeral.       & that's my conviction,                                                                       

                                      though. On my blue days, I soften my heart with music 

               light as cotton wool.        Twenty–three &

I remember every friend with a different scar. 

            At the seabed of life, 

                                   my right lung is unremembering fresh air.                                                    

& I want to be lobed into three compartments, 

                                                         like the right lung, too. One for faith.  

One for hope.

                    The other for survival. 


                     Because, everyone wants to stay afloat,                                                         

                                                                                         when the truth 

is that we must learn to breathe underwater.               Learn

                     to bend & break & still not disappear.

                 Metaphor me, beauty. 

                                     Metaphor me, brittle. 

Look, when broken, a beautiful

                                              thing becomes a myriad of beautiful things. 

                     Look, being broken

                                                           again    & 



        is immunity to breaking.


& as the sun fades, 

                               I lean onto the surrealism            of moonlight. 

I touch my scars  

                                 & exhale. 


Gospel Chinedu

Gospel Chinedu is a Nigerian poet from the Igbo descent. He is a 2021 Starlit Award Winner, 1st Runner Up for the Blurred Genre Contest (Invisible City Lit), 2023, Honorable Mention in the Stephen A. Dibiase Poetry Prize, 2023.


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