The song of defeat - a poem by Agbiri-onwu chinwendu Elsie

These days are dark days. Show me your fears, and I will show you mine.

The song of defeat - a poem by Agbiri-onwu chinwendu Elsie

The things that scare me are worse than

Stunted hair and tangled braids

Or the darkness that comes after lights-out

Or the uncertainty that comes with mortality

What I'm afraid of is much more than broken bones

Shattered hopes and broken homes

I'm not afraid of nails

So maybe I should die for my sins

Hang myself for being born in a skirt

I'm afraid of broken hymens

Of clothes torn in lust

Of the road that leads home past eight-fifteen

Of the hands that grope in the dark

The sound of blood pounding in my chest

The knowledge that I can't be free

The sleepless nights of terrifying dreams

I'm afraid to die before I live

My face

My biology

How do you fight after you've been defeated?

How do you hold on to a straw in the middle of the ocean?

When you feel like falling

Do you flail your hands and scream?

Or do you just fall


And fall

With no memory of how you lost your voice?

I will put myself out

Like a clown

I will make amusement of myself

Show me your fears

And I will show you mine.

Vote for this poem by clicking the applause button below. This piece is featured on the CHILLFILTR Review, and top-voted selections will be included in the yearly best-of collection.

Read this poem on Apple News.

Cover photo by Den Trushtin.


Agbiri-onwu Chinwendu Elsie

Chinwendu is a student-physioytherapist and Varsity footballer at a Nigerian University who spends most of her time idolizing celine dion, writing in melancholic moods and arguing in favor of LGBTQ+

Nigeria Agbiri-onwu Chinwendu Elsie

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