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Read Time:2 Minute, 37 Second

Family Diary

In his slog
from the brasserie, behind
the error in each
carved by booze,
was a monster nosing
the smell of regular meat.
The colic wrecking Michael’s bowels was far
a delay. A regular voice, the sharpness
of metal slanted

across the room. His voice always flew
to the sky, with booze oozing
loud from his tongue.
We took turns in calling

out the crafts for
stalements—a blank peer at her face to summon
a surrender,
a blank gaze on the floor—a bow
on her behalf.
On our behalf.

Mum was loud only in a rush
of words that stuck to the walls of her spirit,
words that perished in each
towards sunlight.

In this cold
night, in this swirl of crisp breeze,
he lies lame on marble

        at the far edge

of the room, on spots once marked
out for us. His brittle voice folds into a fading
whisper—the kind mum confessed
she only heard whenever he stretched
his body between her thighs;
his foot denies the long road eating into the tavern.

These memories
are hoodlums that creep up
on every bruised skin.
Yes, a wound is a wound, dry or
fresh, blood-bleeding or

These memories are leaves of plants
that wait till evening
to cast their shadows
upon the background of a sleeping sun.

Nudge of Home
(In my spirit)

Silence murmured along, save
the rev of a tired engine stooling smoke, save
the rattle of loose screws making headway, save
brisk glances that rushed

at the window glasses
for escape on discovery.
I peered at his hands
that gently steered the wheels,
wild words peeped but made
no headway to the sun.
Cramped by a comet resonating
with a plaguing stare,

wild words cringed and clung
to the walls of my spirit like a plastic wrap.
These were hands that wrung
mum’s neck and fed her
with rough breath.
I wanted to say that beasts
were blessed with fine fingers.
But how do I get past dumb
stones and reinforced bunch of flesh?
I was indoors, held to the chambers
of my spirit.
Mum was indoors.

At the roundabout,
hawking girls came
pressing faces against
the glass screen, faces thick
with grief. I wanted to plunge
my hands and pluck
some for my chest’s orchard
of bruised cranberries.
I wanted to think that I did
n’t carry Home in my chest.
What is Home

but a union of fire and metal,
a full wrap of grief
only uncurled
by a fragile surrender.
I wanted to walk into their hearts
to know if they also carried Home.
I wanted to know if Home
always bore the same weight.
I wanted to stash

    a notice

somewhere that I also carried Home.

About the Author

Lukpata Lomba Joseph lives in Nigeria. He is a software developer by day and a writer by night. His work has appeared in Jacar Press’ One, Misfit Magazine, Runcible Spoon Magazine, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Collidescope, Squawk Back Journal and elsewhere. He is fond of satirical writing and also enjoys Aesop’s Fables

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