by Chidiebere Udeokechukwu
Chidiebere Udeokechukwu serves as an associate poetry editor at ZOETIC PRESS, and he reads poetry for CARVE MAGAZINE. He is the 3rd prize (for poetry) winner at the 2022 IHRAF CREATORS OF JUSTICE LITERARY AWARDS. He appears in the longlist of the 2022 BRIEFLY WRITE POETRY PRIZE. He also appears in the shortlist of the 2023 WRITING UKRAINE PRIZE. His poems have appeared in African Global Network, IHRAF, Adanna LiteraryJournal, Poetic Africa, and elsewhere.
24 GOSPELS OF GORE
Twelve Japanese soldiers knacked me in wicked sequence, and twelve more filed outside
my cell, donning grins of glee and wielding cucumbers like hungry bayonets, drooling in the noon.
I bled rivulets and cried anguished waves, and yowled my mother’s name in desperate hopelessness.
Every day from two in the forenoon till 10, they were outside, a winding litany.
My dress was torn and brittle from the crust of semen. And I would wash myself,
filth, blood, spittle and semen with warm water and a piece of cloth I pressed to my cathedral
like a compress, to temper the boiling pain. I lived a harrowing dream.
* Alternatively titled “Lola Rosa: In memoriam.”Maria Rosa was forced to be a comfort woman for the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII.
They knacked us like tireless Bingo dogs in a police van parked behind the National War College.
I was cuffed and gagged and knacked by a lanky-looking constable, wearing a pure water sachet, like a condom
Through silent, teary screams he knacked and knacked until I slipped away to be roused in a cell.
The cell was lowly, dark and dank reeking of shit, filth and sweat. They huddled us there, two nights
in a row,
and knacked us again, like tireless Bingo dogs.
I had no bung to buy my release, and they took shifts again and again, again, and again.
* ”Sachet-Water Condom” appears in Issue 12 of Adanna Literary Journal (November, 2022). *
A TRAY OF ASH IS JUST A THING
Am I not a tray of ash, filthy as shit, slimy as scum? You think you pay me good? Your chits are shekel coins of lust, betraying my disgrace and poverty, and all that is left to commemorate my woman.
Am I not that worthless Naira change in your pocket? Filthy as shit,
slimy as scum. Am I not a mouth agape, for your caustic cum? Am I not an anus torn from your merciless thrusts? Or your vagina spread ajar, aching and bleeding from too many bangs?
I have always succumbed my pussy for your milky slimy pilgrimage; but many a time, you’ve prayed through my protests and silent helpless screams rent
in tired teary eyes.
A tray of ash is just a thing, mute, unfeeling, cold. Don’t you think? So why won’t I cry dire disgraceful tunes as you spit depraved needy urges or shoot them into me?