SOMETHING WENT DOWN

 

Please, forgive me
I’m terribly ashamed to
wrap my tongue
Round this unripe apple
that fell in my street
But this is how a bright
sky gets burdened with
voices
Voices that canter into
each other in dark
corridors
Yet every man holds his
own head in relief

A confusing mélange of
voices darken the sky
The smoke flounders
about like a petulant
vulture
A pool of heads puffing
hot air from their
chimneys
Camp round a still,
dusty body pulled out
from an alley
A vessel with legs
caked with something
like henna
The jagged, heavy
patterns streaking
down to her feet

What unskilled hands
have done this
A tray and head pad
flank the party
Oranges cringe in the
gutter, some holed up
in cracks
A police van halts
majestically
Uniformed men begin to
ask like town criers
“Who saw it? Who saw
it?
Who saw the men?”

A million eyes and
tongues prop up a little
boy to the fore
“Now boy, what did you
see?”
He twists his fingers
this way and that
Looks up at his mother
for a clue
“Me? I —I saw nothing

Only the oranges rolling
Into the gutter
One by one”

 

Hussani Abdulrahim is a Nigerian and undergraduate student at the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria. He is a budding poet and a literature enthusiast. In 2016, he jointly won the ‘Green Author Prize’ and co-authored ‘Rainbows & Fireflies’, an anthology of poems. He was also longlisted for the 2017 Nigerian Flash Fiction Contest. He strongly believes that words have the power to change and heal the
world of its numerous ills.

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