Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

A boy, a letter and a dream

A boy. Red harmattan earth in eyes, hair, mouth.
A letter. Unopened, damp, moth eaten.
A dream. Engraved on a cracked wall;
“I want to /fly/, /do/, /be/_”
One boy’s dream disintegrates,
clots in the womb of a woman
to become another face, red with harmattan earth.
A boy writes a letter addressed to no one;
“me/my sister/cannot eat/cannot go school”
A boy. Bloated belly, noodle arms, noodle legs.
“my mother/my small brother/sick”
A dusty frame on the wall.
The man’s right hand on her lap.
A gap in his crooked smile.
The man. Part memory, part ghost.
A boy, a letter and a dream enter into the night in the same body.
He/they float out of the body to the sky.
He/they become a star.
The boy wakes from hunger.
A boy. His face; cracked, pale.
A tear, glistening on his cheek.
“God, can you hear me?
My mother/die/my small brother/sick.
If you can hear me,
I want me/my brother to have food/school.
I don’t want to sick/die.

Haneefah Bello is a poet, short story writer, and lover of books and African artwork. She studies law at the University of Ibadan, and is currently located at Auchi, Edo State. Some of her works have appeared on Nantygreens and Brittle Paper.

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