Michael Akuchie

What If God’s Wrath Is In The Little Things We Suffer?

For a while I lie here sobbing, channeling the empire of my body
to an enclosure that mutes the thought of sound.
An unplanned stillness rocks the boat & presses to open wounds
once sealed with a prayer.
The town is asleep & the moonbeam that settles into the room
is a generous offer to keep back the dark.
The glow rushes in, representatives from the kingdom of stars.
I wash myself in the pool of shine,
adore the form the sky gives me & polish myself with acceptance.
Sometimes I fear the dark, this widespread contamination of light.
Somewhere far away, bombs cough up more dead bodies
& we rehearse a new dirge at the roof of our voices.
Somewhere near a drunk is swimming for his life
in a puddle generated by his own vomit.
What if God’s wrath is in the littlest things we suffer?
I don’t know what else to request in the temple of prayer.
Sometimes I want the world sentenced to a crucifix,
mouth crowded with screams & voices gifted with fear.
Dear world, give me your hand that I may sleep upon
& add my weight to the things you break the air for.
God, give me a sleep with dreams for company
& a cradlesong to write poems about.


A Simple Wish

Picturing birds jump from tree to tree, I imagine myself with wings, God’s own arms. The world doesn’t know how I feel about flight. How my limbs ache for an appendage to cross clouds. I sit here in a morning patched with light showers. The darkening of the sky forbids anything to leap into the air & swim with feathers. I sit without the trace of a lover’s touch & imagine a time when I laughed freely. I locate a wine bottle & wet my tongue with a sip. I worry about the birds while the world says they aren’t human enough for the effort. I think about branches, trunks & other troves to build a nest. Perhaps I have no need for a ceiling with paint for company. Perhaps I need the sky for a ceiling, God for company.


Michael Akuchie is an emerging poet from Nigeria. He studies English and Literature at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He is the author of the micro-chapbook, Calling Out Grief (Ghost City Press, 2019). His recent work appears or are forthcoming with Impossible Task, Collective Unrest, Nitrogen House Zine, Sandy River Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Ghost City Review, TERSE, Mojave Heart, Kissing Dynamite, Burning House, Neologism Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He is on Twitter as @Michael_Akuchie. He is a Contributing Editor for Barren Magazine. Sometimes he writes from a busy town in Lagos, sometimes a tired village in Benin City.