possessed     once   


stand between 





brain treads 

            a jagged path

                            path paved 

in the form of a question

                             path fashioned in 



            & swamp



crack smooth stones                 against an open slap

                            carve hollow refuge under creek beds 

                                                      hold back the dam

                                                                save the little


who knots white clovers 

into a life raft then sinks      


what is your response?


cracks you

              little dove

sent to scour  whatever earth    water’s rage left 

behind                                you

(dressed in white 

feathers)        dissolve the wet wind

cobble stones in your mouth—eye

this remnant land of haunts

you       no longer 

gray matter    

now formidable sea


& the sea turns on itself, cracks the coveted

scales, bait & hook, leaves bones for the hungry

slides its rough back against home

beats against the dark edge of water-dreams | insists you are


sea | you drown

sea | you open your stormed mouth

sea | you elongate the wet tongue

& swallow

till all is swallowed

till all is

sea upon sea becoming sea

.chisaraokwu. is an Igbo poet, actor, and healthcare futurist residing in North America. Her poetry & essays have appeared in Obsidian, Contemporary Verse 2, TAB: A Journal of Poetry & Poetics, midnight&indigo, The Washington Post, and others. Her art has been supported with fellowships from Cave Canem, Brooklyn Poets, Banff, and nominated for Best of Net. She earned her MD from Duke University School of Medicine.

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