Three Poems

A Starless Ache

A wave wrestles the shores of my body. My skin opens to the night sky and beholds itself—a dreamer begging God to give her Abram’s chance. To show him that a daughter’s index is worth a thousand stars. The lines on my palms are as busy as a subway. The first seer to trace it said it led them to a void, another became cross-eyed in the process. In the sky today,  a woman appears wearing a scarf and fades away. Like me, she melts away from the earth’s gaze and may never make it to heaven. My rug is as rough as sandpaper. Yet I splatter my back on it and roll from end to end. Prayer can become an injury on its way to heaven. If my supplication arrives at heaven’s gate bloodied and bruised, maybe an Angel will show my ache to God. Tell him to please behold an endless woman in search of rest.


After “poem in praise of menstruation” by Lucille Clifton

My bloodstream is an atlas of landmarks,

It is the depth of a sore foot on desert sand

Tell me the difference between sand & water 

If both of them cover the earth like a table cloth


 There is anywhere that exists without water?

Any place, where dryness is all there is

& a woman’s body does not overflow

Into the shores of places beyond mortality 

I want to know—

It is that time of the month, 

          The cloud has become a halo 

Breaking into blue on my tongue 

 & I want to sing hymns that choke the heavens 

Maybe my lover is an angel with allergies,

Having wings the same shape

As my ovaries          

The road that leads me home is flooded 

& the only rod that can part this sea 

Into a climax

Is sleeping in the mouth of a whale 

In this moment I crave my lovers           for a bloody affair & when they come,

I refuse them,                                I say, look, look

There is a carnival inside me          you cannot attend 

All the Cursive Things

A body is an excellence of bones 
A union  of skin
And breathing mishaps,

  • Did you know,

That follicles are foundation for identity,
A leeway for an exposé on how a 
Strand of hair is proof of legitimacy,

  • Did you know,

That silhouette and slender 
Sound as they look,
That sorrow feels like it’s pronounced 
That joy is as brief as it is said 
That triumph sounds like a tired escape
From life’s trepidations

  • Did you know,

That in the curve  of merged
A destination is established

  • Did you know 

That a body is both day and night 
Both hustle and haven, 
A thing that grows and grows
And morphs and morphs 
Into monuments and 

*Photo by Ian Kiragu on Unsplash.

Roseline Mgbodichinma

Roseline Mgbodichinma is a Nigerian writer. Her writing explores the intricate relationships between nature, womanhood, emotion, bodies, and desire. She is an alumna of the Library of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) West African Writers Residency programme. Her work has been published in Isele Magazine, Brittle Paper, A Long House, Duke University Press, North Dakota Literary, Tampered Press, JFA Human Rights journal, The Willowherb Review, Agbowo, and SprinNG, among others. She blogs at