Inalegwu Omapada Alifa

Stillborn

Transported on an ambulance
with my stethoscope fixed
to my eardrum,
reading the non-rhythmic flow of the heart
of the pregnant woman lying down,
walking not but laid on a stretcher
through some minutes in
the Intensive Care Unit
before the theatre
like a pack of diazepam,
antibiotics, hand-gloves and syringes
on a moving trolley to the apothecary’s
port of encounter with the ebola-infested
and feverishly dehydrating child.

My hands shiver, my legs muscle-pulling
at the sight of the breathless,
lifeless bodies of the young,
of the old and
of the foetal baby eight months old
on my hands
before cutting off the umbilical cord
from the placenta of the dead woman.

 

 

Letting die

Hardly taking in oxygen in a hospice
with my breath as heavy
as the weight of sticks and stones falling
from the rocky cliff like the top of
Calvary where the Nazarene breathed his last,
I live through every dragging day
with my nose glued to breathing tubes
as the first fruit of my thighs racks his brain,
thinking to singing a decision, favouring
the continuation of my cerebral functions
while I inexplicably whistle,
freely in the moment I couldn’t speak,
the atom reminder of my life.

 

 

Inalegwu Omapada Alifa (1)

 

Inalegwu Omapada Alifa is a new and emerging Nigerian poet whose poems have appeared in Parousia Magazine, Naija Stories, Yellow Chair Review, Lunaris Review, and elsewhere.

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