lonely and great god

by | Jul 21, 2023

my spine is curved & looking down on the earth.
the other day, a stranger raised my chin up with her 

finger, asked the name of my loneliness, & walked me
to the end of the road, my hand in hers. before i was 

born, i must have wished, with all of my
goodness, for the wilderness as a guardian angel. 

i did not know to be careful then. that the price of
anything was a rotting branch in my joy. that it was 

possible to be more barren than a divine-cursed fig
tree. & a body, far from being an equator, could contain

 the two ends of silence: the search for stillness and
the prayer for quietude of spirit. i am always

looking for my shadow in the light—how
beautiful it would be to live without the colors of

the earth, to disappear should the night wish
to ride darkness by its horns. to my stranger i said 

god. great god.

Graphite on paper drawing of a person from head to collarbone.

Cubist Study of a Head (1913), Elemér de Kóródy.
Courtesy of The Met.

Precious Okpechi

Precious Okpechi

Publab Fellow 2023

Precious Okpechi is a biochemistry graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is a Los Angeles Review of Books Readers’ Fellow and a recipient of the Singing Bullet Writing Workshop Scholarship. His works appear in Palette Poetry, Lolwe, The Shore, Isele Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, and Brittle Paper. He is the managing editor at 20.35 Africa.

Elemér de Kóródy


Elemér de Kóródy (1889–1918) was a Hungarian painter. He studied art in Budapest, Nagybánya, and Paris.