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—How many were they?
dust upon dust upon dust
—Who were they?
all had loved ones
—How did they die?
in my dream/ his son was swinging on a swing
hell! he just wanted to go home!
—How did they die?
face looked splendid in a spray of bullets
—How did they die?
were tumbling down an
impossible mountain
broke backs & decayed
were thirsty tourists trapped
in the windpipe of a gallery/ with pictures of tattered tombs
owl watched vultures pick into a severed skull
begged God to keep his pregnant wife & unborn child
became obessed from the lies they fed us
—Where did they die?
we’re still asking God for explanations
—Who killed them?
appeared & disappeared
took our homes
& our girls
& turned them into salt and despair
called peace numerous
names/ she lost her cool
—How did you mourn?
sun sank/ moon shone/ we laughed/ everyone retired to bed
—How did you mourn?
they’ve being replaced by another sacrifice
i’m too poor/ to lay wreaths for each
in memory/ keep safe from the cold/ from thorns of a second ambush
—What now?
truth & tears can not set the dead free
maybe we’re closer to hell than we think
—How do you live?
he dwelled in my dream/ his son swung
face looked splendid in a spray of bullets
hell! he just wanted to go home!

Hussani Abdulrahim is a Nigerian writer and poet. He is an undergraduate at the Usmanu DanFodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria. He is winner of WRR’s 2018 Humanity Flash Contest, A finalist for 2018 Africa Book Club short story contest, shortlisted for Ken Egas Poetry Prize, also joint winner of WRR’S 2016 Green Author Prize among others. Some of his works can be found in the BPPC anthologies: The Train Stops At Sunset (2017) & Citadel Of Words (2018); Brittle Paper’s Work Naija Anthology, Vanguard’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Anthology, The Wrong Patient and Other Stories From Africa (anthology of the Book Club Short Story Contest 2018), Youthshades and others. He believes that words have the power to heal the world of its numerous ills. Presently, he writes from Kaduna, Nigeria.

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