Three Fantasy-Horror Poems by Chinasa-Nnenna

Illustration by Chinasa-Nnenna

Sun Drunk

teeming leaves in a cup of someone who loved me. 
loose and fluttering 
— preferred it that way 

brimming with entropy,
you drink down the scarlet tide
and take the rose warm swell since  
you saw no ally among us, 
leaking into burdened water.
i hold fast to a blade once loyal, my boasting bedfellow 

aching with an unconscionable knowing,
it burns in my grip, 
	i am not its master. 
i turn towards the ghost of you
and see we beg like twisted mirrors, 

careful confiture, drowning your hands
i hear you in the dead of night
(out damn spot!)
bursting drupelet, kill me well.

i know what comes for me 
a fate well-met at dawn,
this noxious nightshade chants farewell.
i close my eyes.  

you stand before a massacre
and tell me it smells of spring.
the taste rips right, and i see crumbling clouds 
where people should be. 

i wake with blood in my mouth.
	“you bite your tongue in your sleep”
this is what you tell me. 

i am sour and bubbling, 
crushed leaves sail through me 
like dancing rocks in a stream. 

you left me in the sun too long.

dried me out and pressed me down, 
watched the last of me seep from my open eyes.
i have seen what is to come,
the bottom of her cup left for me 

i have seen the ladybug’s hide
black spots in a red sea 
a toothpick to pluck out my wings
nestled deep in the grooves of your mouth
these crushed leaves, a brutal brew

warning, they tell me 
grow not 
sullen fruit, fallen leaf 
only wait,

for you are soon to be
		sun drunk



wicked women

morning hope holds a frozen form, 
my tears have calcified
the stroke of summer’s supple hand awakens 
a once-shivering sleeper held riverside ice  
one more step, once more taken further 
onto the vilification of that tired killer 
under burning suns, magma will ooze 
from the blade of the executioner 

next, i lay my head on that marble block 
let the scythe descend upon my stretching neck 
stretching, stretching i spy faces in the crowd, stones in their hands 
weighted suspicions balance eagerly, they think me a harpy 
they prepare for a broken blade, for the killing hand to be struck down 

through lightning, or the working hand of hades, 
i call upon nothing, i mouthe no incantations 
my twitching fingers ache to snap,
to move through air, 
topple mountains and trees, 
turn eager stones against their keepers 
i do nothing as i crave this, 
after long nights spent in windowless chambers
hearing exclamations for exsanguination 
i crave this 

i wanted the pyre
i wanted the thaw, 
an undeniable, unbecoming desire to consume me, 
to consume the watchers too 

let us burn together, 
let them have their delirious delight
through my delectable demise 

i am their savage sister and they give me no choice 

they wanted a picture, 
a souvenir, 
a commemoration of a wicked woman, 
a wild wench, 
they want a lock of hair, 
a single rib, 
my fingernails and tongue, 
i welcome them to it, 

let them keep me in their homes, 
on their mantles, 
on their dining tables 
let me stretch my shadows in the depths of their abode

let me darken their doors, 
i will fade the blood marked there. 
He will come for their sons. 

they will keep me above their wells 
and i will whisper to neptune. 
he will come for their daughters.

finally, when their homes overflow sanguine
i will leave them with their gaping loss
let their tears calcify too 
let them feel that hollow ennui 
and soon, when they whisper the wind will shake 
when they scream, the world will move 
as their hands whip through air, thunder will boom 

only then, will they see we are all wild women 
we are all senseless scourge 
we are all harbingers of horror 
we are all wicked 
and all wicked women die too soon 

i will wait for them 
for my new savage sisters 
my nefarious novices 

come, there are still words we must say 
to the sky, 
to the sea, 
to the wind

come! there is malevolence to make
come! there is sorrow to sow 


i sleep in a violet vase 
clear walls for the watcher through the curtains 

i eat solid cubes 
edges scratch my throat, bloodhungry vulture 

i scream a silver sorry 
and bored blossoms rush forth, petaldeath pelts

disinfectant on the window pane 
can they see me now 
my skin is peeled, i’m fiercely burned   
wars won on a pyre

choice parts of me soon to splint
so tender, markedly sweet, 
translucent-tree, leafmeat
sweet-sorrowed, nascent nymph
unholy veal 

passive disc watches me
futile fingers scratch rose rims,
falling flowers dance diametered 
forking fingertips,
bracing breastbone,
thorning thigh, 
red sea opens, sourstaff split

none can be wasted
spilling without just cause
all watchers turn to glare
while i waftwise waltz in the room

pupils dilate dawn, saliva drips down 
mourning mouths charter chanting chins
my meat spreads south, compass disassembly 

i wonder who will have my magnet heart, 
who will have my arrow-blade brain 
i find myself sliced and speared 

bred for the hunt he tells me
     it’s a service, 

                she had no wild in her.
                she hid no wild in her
                slippery slight slaunt.

bred for the hunt they whisper 
	it’s a delight,

               she had no wild in her.
               she hid no wild in her
               soaring sap sinews. 

bred for the hunt i murmur
	it’s a slaughter,

             she had no wild in her. 
             she hid no wild in her 
             simple soiled spite.

i nod my chin jerking, 
his breath already smells 
that forbidden fruit

i close my eyes, lower my fork,
i feel the fare fuss,
i tear a trembletithe
holding my breath,
a mile at a time
i bite 
i bite 

i am sacred and true
i am withered and gross

i am flame and ash
i am wave and foam 

i am flesh 
i am home 

i am divine 
i am decay 

i am none 
i am done. 

Chinasa-Nnenna is an Igbo poet, essayist, and orator. They have a marked interest in themes of consumption, death, the “other”, ancestry, and the mystical. Chinasa describes herself as an orator and emissary of sweet spellwork. They post poems as well as essays on their Substack:

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