Chiagoziem Confidence Jideofor

Answering Whatever a First-Time Feels Like

newness starts you off on the page asking no questions,
like book knowledge opens to you when people do not

new kid, def not from here

with a hot cup of coffee staving off proper addictions 
you fill up pages of good and bad,
stressing on the first of dents, their odds and ends

first real loss//first grounded ignorance//first real joke//first interstate pullover

                                                       you save first fear and first scare for last

darkest face among rows//pining tears// and buoyancy that launches itself

in a new life, how often you are asked for the proof
                                                       of commencement
                                                       to explain why life continues and there is no viability

how often the steps questions come. like how many of such you took to split. 
“how many official renunciations…? 

                                                       and you answer truthfully, 
                                                       say “you’d see to believe.” 

with thoughts unresolved on the page, 
this newness unfixes you

your craving of latter days//and their simple greens//the new sense of duty a place fixes you with //junkie of labor//in and out of creased worlds//sometimes lost as casual forgetfulness

and when there aren’t more of these worlds to traverse, 
intensity, or more magic to thread with
horror starts you off on a closed page 

with no words in view
your new sight begins as a first prone to things 

a cat struggling to reach//some weird shit called music// tongue growing alien//while still attached


Chiagoziem Confidence Jideofor is Queer and Nigerian. Her poems have appeared or are scheduled to appear in Reunion: The Dallas Review, the minnesota review, Yaba Left Review, Passengers Journal, Rigorous, Untitled: Voices, Versification, Ghost Heart, and so on. Also a self-taught illustrator, Agoziem has worked on several book covers and digital arts collaborations, and is currently an in-house digital artist at Arts Lounge Literary Magazine and Cooking Pot Publishing.