I wish I had come with a manual.

This ache reminds me I need to be fixed

But I sit across you, stunned that a thing

so scenic would want to be spotted with grease.

Does milk and Red Bull taste like sin?

Do you delight in paradoxes?

Ever struck a match across the sea

and watched the water turn to flame?

You smile with your eyes like you mean it so 

I pretend my heart is not convulsing

Under my rib cage, one beat away from shattering.

I’m flushed and you think my sunken cheeks

is a litmus paper of your smooth talk

but I can barely breathe an air stamped with your cologne.

My very existence hinged on your proximity

is a reminder that we are no more separated by phone screens

and that you can see me.

Let’s not pretend that we’ll last forever

Just tell me when you’ve had enough.

A thousand things have gone wrong and a thousand more will

‘cause anxiety melts my faith to mould its wings,

‘cause even if I dip my palms in glue, I break things.

Unlike normal people, I am biased towards cacophony.

Chinecherem Maureen Anatuanya is a nineteen year old undergraduate student of Law at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. She expresses her personal realities and colourful imagination in her poems, stories and photography. You may reach her on Twitter and Instagram @rheenie_m.

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