Poetry: We Drew Chibok On The Map In Our Blood By Titilope Sonuga

This piece is from Titilope Sonuga's forthcoming collection 'This Is How We Disappear' and was originally published on Brittle Paper.

“No matter who my daughter is when she comes back,
she is my daughter and I want her back home.”


dis·ap·pear /ˌdis ˈpir / verb / the men, thick as baobab, become
a forest, drag us in by the wild of our hair.



the men scratch
our names from our throats
betray our bodies
bones bend back



we become a whisper
hands gather a scream
back into her mouth
the only way we know how
palms clasped and reaching
elbow deep into a soft night

beg god between her legs
birth and bury
what we must to stay alive

silent stream
silk fish swirl
a red amen around our ankles



beneath the moon that sees us all
our mother prays into the black
bloom between her legs
reaches deep to birth us back
red scream in her throat
names we no longer answer to

we scatter from her hands
silk fish swirl
in a wild stream

Sonuga invites you to an evening of surrender through poetry and music in her three-part series performance, Open, in Lagos, from June to July. Image: Tim Green.