A Wife’s Guide to Silent Perishing by Chidera Ihekereleome-Okorie

A Wife’s Guide to Silent Perishing

— for the women whose only language is endurance

Aisle//
This walk down it, is how you secure
the license to bend without breaking,
to ingest nails without calling the doctor.

Stay//
Eat his fist with your lips
widened; the kind of lips you wear when
eating your favourite dish.

Cry//
Scoop the leaking from your eyes and make
him a warm bath. Add salt for his cleansing.

Fix//
Flay your thigh; patch the blistered fist.
Scoop the bleeding from you,
replenish his. A god should not lack.

Train//
Catwalk on glass shards; to drill your soul
to master pain, to drill your legs to forget to run.
Your life is no life when you leave the man.

Pray//
To God to fold your tongue, keep it from
venting. To submit means, to never be right.
Read the good book. Memorize who should succumb.

Remember//
Respect is yours to give and not to receive. I hear
your maledictions on nights when he devours
you. For your sake, I hope you choose a stone’s silence.

Master these//
If you do, your daughters will get to marry.
Their mother would be the one who stayed.
Dead but married.

Chidera Ihekereleome-Okorie is an emerging poet who lives in Nigeria. She writes poetry because it helps her understand the world and the reason she is in it at this time. Her work appears or is forthcoming in perhappened mag and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. Find her on twitter @chideraIheke 

Banner Art: Vortex, a drawing by Moira J. Saucer.

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