First Day at Death’s Home ~ Yvonne Nezianya

A number of souls are being entertained

by your air gulps, frightened shivers,

stuttering tunes and hopeful chords.

Your brain convinces your throat to

purge out troubled words of the last song

you heard in church.

A bald man with brows that seem

to have been eaten by the dead

and an ugly scar he probably got

from fighting to take them back to hell

just after their morning bath.

Delusional, you say

but you know that the ulcerated intestines

and broken hearts floating in the air aren’t

creations of your schizophrenic mind.

Cold boxes are freeing their insides and as you turn to flee,

corpses, your entourage, smack their phalanges

in harmony, praising you for your bravery

and awaiting your return. 


Yvonne Nezianya is a Nigerian writer who writes to tell silenced stories of young girls and people facing mental health issues. Her short story, Wonders of Spirits, was shortlisted for the K and L Prize 2020.  Her works have appeared in Glass Poetry, Afritondo, Green Black Tales and elsewhere.

Photo Credit: Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma’aji from Pexels

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