Breakfast in the Sun
You don’t sit at table with fork and knife and spoon
when your home swims in bomb.
The sun owns your mouth on these occasions.
In the sun you masticate kunuchinkafa, while a newborn’s lips
stays on a mother’s breast.
Horse speed is the formula for everything in Boko Haram territory.
Father looks at mother who looks at daughter
who looks at son who looks at new born who sucks in innocence.
The walls, like cattle at the stream,
drink open shreds hanging in the kinetic.
No one knows how they come.
The closest we know is that
their coming is as a thief’s. Even then you know
you’re buried at the foot
of your mountain because sometimes
a letter fore-runs their arrival.
No one knows who their enemy is.
They say they fight everything that blows from the West,
every goddamn wind their guns seem to say.
They turn homes to rubble,
religious centers they decorate with rifts,
cracks, holes, and cleft and bones.
Here, the smell of tomorrow is hashish,
brackish water oozing from overfilled drainage,
a town stripped bare in commando fashion,
you nuzzled to the tarmac, no inertia, pastry curled
round your head like pleated Olympic laurel.
Onis Sampson is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet, short story writer, playwright, budding novelist, and practicing lawyer based in Lagos, Nigeria. His poems, short fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in African Writer, Vinyl Poetry, Tuck Magazine, Kalahari Review, African Eye Ball anthology, World Reader app, and elsewhere.