domenica 7 aprile 2019


When I was a kid, I was always waiting for that freak accident,
the one that would cause the awesome explosion that
would spread gamma rays down my bloodstream; for that
rush, that rage, as my cells fused with this strange element.
I could see myself on a hospital bed surrounded
by doctors unable to explain the marvel I am.
I knew I would feel no pain as a needle tried
to pierce my skin, impenetrable as a turtle’s shell,
and that soon I’d wake up and see my flabs
turn to abs, my biceps bulge out of my sleeves
and I’d try to walk but end up defying gravity and –
quickly forgetting how terrified of heights I am –
slip into that skin-tight costume with the silky cape
that moves and rustles with the wind
as I stand at the top of the Empire State Building
glaring into the clear blue sky, and
(momentarily ignoring the beautiful brunette reporter
who was going to fall deeply in love with me
when I revealed my mysterious secret identity to her
and asked her to be my bride)
swoop down to the street to that small fat kid
who’d just been dipped in the toilet by his high school bullies
and give him courage to fight back not with violence
but with the aim to change them for the better, and
fly him around in my cape and tell him that I’ve got him.
Michael Egbe

Michael Egbe went to England from Nigeria when he was twelve. At school, he was a ball of talent and chaos, as likely to write an extraordinary poem as he was to write nothing: to dance the tango as to lose all his art homeworks. He was 17 years old when he wrote this poem, which, together with this brief bio, I found in England - Poems from a school, Picador 2018

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