Some countries give new meaning to dress codes, not only dictating what their citizens wear, but also enforcing strict measures with fines and imprisonment— Fashion Police(s).
Satin worn past twelve is buttoned satire.
all that glam spent, unstarching uniform grains.
low-waist silk & the sagging yarn, both heavy with polymer sweat.
mother sow cotton by criminal luck,
practise woolgathering in our distraction.
her snore: a staunch uprising.
what language picks offence at a lady unwillingly to wear her country to numbness?
on no occasion has it been me,
to purchase a fabric unplagued by grief.
even the bugs rock denims to levitation.
I— asphalt glory.
color riot, in ways that puts coffin out of fashion,
snithe the threading to come clean as shorelines.
It’s a question of what lingerie affords liberty in a different town,
what vows held us back from the sea this long.
I lose sparkle, each time I conceive being sentenced to a bristle sackcloth
all my fragile life.
my sternum aches for harmful collars, for tough cravats.
each knit: a riffraff defying strangling.
behold, my exit dress
earned with stubborn currency.
praise for the inner lining, ribboned as a door.
what oath ordained escape to be one way?
Nnadi Samuel (he/him/his) holds a B.A in English & literature from the University of Benin. His works have been previously published/forthcoming in Suburban Review, Seventh Wave Magazine, NativeSkin lit Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly West, FIYAH, Fantasy Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, The Capilano Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Gutter Magazine, Carte Blanche, Trampset, Beestung Magazine, The Elephant Magazine & elsewhere. Winner of the Miracle Monocle Award for Ambitious Student Writers 2021(University of Louisville), Penrose Poetry Prize 2021, Lakefly Poetry Contest 2021 (Wisconsin), the International Human Right Arts Festival Award 2021, and Canadian Open Drawer contest 2020. He got an honorable mention for the 2021 Betty L. Yu and Jin C.Yu Creative Writing Prize(College Category). He is the author of “Reopening of Wounds” & “Subject Lessons” (forthcoming). He reads for U-Right Magazine. He tweets @Samuelsamba10.
Image (c) Prince Abid/Unsplash