father spells his name with his footsteps I hear screams from across the house e-z-e! e-z-e! 1-2-3! e-z-e! I named the tv Nkechi, after our neighbor who never shuts up. I think they’re related— they look the same around the stomach my brother thinks life is a song always nodding and moving his legs to nothing. if life were a song, we’re on a long pause. my sister thinks life is a play crying one second and laughing another if life were a play, we aren’t shooting anymore they say some men, hearing the shooting had stopped, went out to play football, and bullets scored against their bodies mum likes to pretend like everything is right like the song is loud, and the play is on like the director just screamed ‘action’ and her role is to smile the heavens down into closed doors. I think I’d smile with her till the day comes when it’s safe to play with leather balls and plastic tins and not concede to bullets of steel and those of corona
Emmanuel Udoma is a medical student with an interest in creative writing. Whenever he’s not flipping through the pages of medical textbooks, he finds himself introspecting on new ideas for his poems or short stories. He was a joint winner for the 2019 edition of Memoirs of Nigerian University Students (MONUS), and was shortlisted for the Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize 2018. He has been published in some literary platforms and anthologies including ANA Review 2018, Mixed History (NSPP 2017), Citadel of Words (BPPC 2018), MONUS Anthology 2.0, Naija book of Diabetes Stories, etc.