to choose what is right
from what is left
to be true to ourselves only
as pieces of broken whispers

even when the law hangs
across our bruised necks
like a father’s pants
like a mother’s dress

surprising our bodies
with cold words reminding us
how we were always warned
warned warned to choose what is right

before the immigration staff
who sees everything rumbling inside us
eavesdrops on our susurrating breaths
& counts how many times

we inhale his foreign perfume watching
if the body exerts too much pressure
on the white plastic chair
or if we blink past the approved

number per second
to exhale silently when no one
is looking & choose what is right
from what is left

words that would not
behold the suspicious faces
of our white interviewers
& expose our haunting secrets

in one brutal explosion


Bola is a Nigerian-Canadian poet residing in Winnipeg, MB. His poems have appeared or forthcoming in a few poetry magazines like Cleaver, One, The Nottingham Review, The Puritan, The Literary Review of Canada, Sierra Nevada Review, Poetry Quarterly, Miracle E-Zine, Poetry Pacific, Drunk Monkeys, League of Canadian Poets (Poetry Month 2013), St. Peters College(University of Saskatchewan) Anthology (Society 2013 Vol. 10), Pastiche Magazine, and others. He holds a degree in City Planning.


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