Nnadi Samuel

Nebulous Strike in Minnesota

Six months into prepartum trauma, I occupied the alley,

tummy-red & indecent with blood clotting fiercely like

iridescent fog on a Sun day, as I Irony my way into a female talk

with my godmother. Her passion for poetry, squeezed

from tonight’s sharp want, to cause a small miracle of breeze and

nebulous strike in Minnesota—

whose landscape toughens with maple wood snow ridden by

the thickest

pang of dust: monsoon flatulence. a gas breaking on my elephant feet.

I kegel in the warmth, memorizing the old baobab plant potted by my foster

father, whose mortgage

exceeds a headcount & by all means, indebts we— his descendants and

all our afterbears. Loan, beyond estimate sits nameless as a scattered blood

right we inherit with caution.

the curse we put a face to, as banks flag down our surname. Right here,

taking my godmother

to the moon and back with a love poem, I tongue distance— the length of

a metaphor.

her uplifting to the chorus, desperate for a rising. The way the fetus

inside me attain weightlessness,

manly afloat in baritone pulse. the vibe that brings life to rectum.

Tell me about birth, my traveling, my approach to language in concealed


of a lost flesh: days I cribbed in my godmother’s hut. red clay,

printing it’s brutal remarks on my turned back. my feet,

sashaying the railing my foster father fixed decades

back, in the timely fashion

of a stone coffin— durable in its wearing out. from the audible distance

of a co-wife, the shout fills me with monsoon, ruptured breath.

a daggered flatulence,

released in the harmful custom of a birthing. dust, reeling

the way the fetus folds, clenching its shapeless fist while I stabilize my

eager, worn-out breath to suit the calmness of township:

my Iowa dreams, exaggerated everywhere across the border

holding those whose raised me. I dragged my skin like an animal,

throughout three cardinal points— till my

luck went South. A wanderer, unsettled by the inner works of clime.

unable to language in clearly distilled allomorph

I’m torn apart by grammar. the manner of its safe delivery, stuck

between my thighs.

Woman, if not anything, a terror gadget, surviving pills & the messy

contractions, to forge a replica from her fallen relic.

Woman, if not anything

uncontained as the whirlwind. a neat violence, stretched across a

young navel withstanding all harms thrown at it:

the tactics of a warfare.