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Samuel Samba

Samuel Samba is an indigenous writer of poetry & other works of art. Samuel's works have been previously published in ExistOtherwise Magazine, Australian Poetry Journal, Australian Access Poetry, Riverstone Literary Journal, Hill Hoist Magazine & elsewhere. Samuel was a finalist of the National Poetry Contest at Under the Madness Magazine and got an honorable mention in the recent 2022 Christopher Hewitt Award in Poetry.

Whistling Bodies

In the sharp prick of an ailment,

a loin accommodates air till it turns burstable.


behold, all of me, swelled into an uprising.

I want my breathlessness, bone-clean & audacious,

want to revolt against this body's lack of death.


you: a walking execution, begging to happen.

my skin meets nail & we name it mercy killing.


in the song of your life, a trapped tenor come undone

& meaning seeds inside of you like red date.

your lips, marvel-jammed into a froth.


the melody rides on the back of a whirlwind, spooned in cutthroat dialect:

meaning, the wind knifes through the message not the messenger.

meaning, the language for dying demands we hold our breath.


the word hope, when mispronounced as rope, still ends in six feet.


you say, a body is worth dust if the death is good, & I do not argue.

because where I'm from, we outdress the coffin.

when you say 'a stitch in time', I save my nine lives in one needle prick,

to write you a pantoum—spellbound as a thread.


we are packet of whistling bodies, capable of flatulence.

monsoon outburst, droning behind us

look how nature succumbs to air.


& while the animal troubling your larynx defy oxygen to perform your asphyxiation,

I question the way death in a bid to downplay our efforts, holds the loin by the torso.


& the loin, starved of sport, retaliates with scuffling.


the breath is cleaner below ground.

on earth's surface, time works twenty-four seven, to cut off our air supply.

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