The rope of distance

you sat there
reinventing Lagos

islands got drenched
inside us

black crows torched
our scars the lessons
of attraction

the avalanche might
actually get kinder

wandering in all capes
but the death of desire
is not what you keep
hearing about


Soon all this
will be memory

stitching yourself
into a blue sky, an open door

that’s what it says
in get-aways

landscape, rifle targets
& other things going on

angel of history
cruising through the Death Valley

love & howitzer tanks
enlarge the musical score

as stylish as
the bright tease of a leather skirt

you glide inside
the radiance of the wound


Northbound train
lower level
and the most annoying daylight

as if I could learn
something from
anagram puzzles

mapwork, pulsant
a conversation about it
a tizzy fit

ice cubes, headlines,
tough as nails midwesterner

pondering the next move
I couldn’t stay still

spiraled with a missing letter
shape-shifted with painted pages


Casper David Friedrich
in the Stockholm archipelago

windmill   bare bum  strobes

a mirkin to help him get a feeling
for what marabou feathers were doing

suede ankle boots    carousel horse

higher shadows     when he comes to that corner,
you shut up      a curmudgeon’s fear of the saccharine

love breaks on infallible stone

so much devastation so much

turn around now
chronology is a scam

Uche Nduka is a Nigerian-American poet, collagist and essayist. He is the author of twelve volumes of poems of which the most recent are Ijele, Nine East, Living in Public. His poetry has been translated into German, Finnish, Italian, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian. He presently lives and teaches in New York City.


Cover photo credit: Pedro Szekely