The Price of Becoming A Villain Is To Quell One’s Kin In A Charade Of Pact With The Gods

The Price of Becoming A Villain Is To Quell One’s Kin In A Charade Of Pact With The Gods
in memory of all the Ndi-Igbo that were shipped into slavery
through the Arochukwu Long Juju Slave Route.

Beyond the dim, there is a six-foot gully,
so audacious & wide, it opens into the
oracle’s shrine. The voice of
Ibini Ukpabi, fresh-wet,
it saturates everyone’s
ear, it says, Kamalu,
the warrior god,
Gorgon for
our sake; for our sake,
he made sacrifices with his beloved
who fell short of his glory at the expense
of their sins. Now, in requiem to this, every homestead

shall sing of blood & blackwaters, which means:
the cost of a capital crime is a no-return
walk through the dark tunnel of
disappearance, where the
Gorgon now rules.
Outside, a wolf
prowls as if
a pact
the hooting
owl. The moonlight
scraps through the dark presence,
a slingshot of a pebble hurls into Iyi-Eke
& echoes a man’s name; he has been found guilty of

the crime he was presumably framed for. Many went
this way, & in each morning, we wake up to the
bloody torso of Iyi-Eke, the river so red, we
believe it to be the crimsoned evidence
of death from the ones who were cast
into the tunnel of disappearance
a night before. I did not know
that the way to heroism
is to lose your
way back
a villain in
the face of your
own kinsmen. Behind
the scene: a cast of light
reveals there was no night at all,
only the day opening into deep secrets.
A peep further, unfurls how the tunnel of disappearance

opens into the European Beach through the outlets of Iyi-Eke,
the thighs of the river, reddened with a bull’s blood;
something we swore was an evidence of the quelled
heads. I never knew that the way to honour
Kamalu was to lose one’s kin beyond
the shores of Calabar through the
transatlantic route. Their names,
chained, a thing with wings—
lost birds, singing of home —
and then, become so
cursed with foreign
tongues as
to never
like us; the villains
who quelled their heads
in a charade of pact with the gods

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