the street taught me how to name myself ,
how to make life miserable to people with arms and weapons around my neck and hands.
how to call a knife a spade and
a spade; a hoe without feeling guilty.
how to lay wait for girls and make
them scream out loud in dark places
where men fall in and come out
the street taught me how to pronounce these words: Bread and water.
I was born without nipple to my mouth,
my mother became religionist making temples her home.
My father, whose shadows I fell under reek of bottles of beers and found satisfaction from the twisted public holes of skimpy sluts.
The street made me, I am part of the street; a ghetto poet, ghettoising.
life pushed me into the den of wildness
there was time I visited hope and hope failed me yet the end didn’t come.
I whimpered, but life must go on.
You know these words are broken,
I lost my soul scribbling them on slates
I picked every word I say from the ghetto.
I won’t stop this game, forgive me like
I forgave myself when I sliced a knife
into a Bishop’s throat,
like when I shot a wealthy man at Nnewi
like when I set the church ablaze for treating me like a Lepal at restitution.
like when I slaughtered an Imam for a false doctrine.
Just forgive me ’cause of this ghetto sermon playing in my head.
I was made the black sheep by broken marriage
I do not know when the world begin to trade a boy like me for bloody adventures!
they made beast from baby like me,
when was it signed into our constitutions to overlook dregs of the society- children in the street?
how do you hold your bodies together
knowing you’ve held a future in your tongue, your arms and weapons?
begone! There is no point being who I am…
Don’t leave me to perish! I need a shoulder to lean on!
©John Chizoba Vincent