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On this table is a baptism of smoke
& spices-

The curator of death himself
stands behind a veil of sweet incense.
Above the gyrating tongues of fire,
two knives are preparing themselves
for the sundering of poultry laps forever locked
in the footholds of flight.
Squirts of oil and a heap of sheared carrion rises.

A breath loiters at the gates of my throat,
then my tongue grows heavy with saliva & anticipation.
“Just N300 own Malam.”

Red clouds explode from his hands
and pepper descends like a blessing.
Gathering all the pieces,
five expert fingers mummify
and bury cremated bodies
inside old pages.

When I swallow a dice of suya,
the sun comes alive on my tongue.
As the faces of several flavors unfurl,
I relish the remains of a beautiful death
with every sinew that sticks
between the chatters of my teeth.

Femi Ayo-Tubosun is a Nigerian writer and poet. He is on a journey to write as well as he possibly can. When bored, he takes long furtive walks and listens to folk songs. You can find his works at

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