before Jugular my to Knife a Hold I
Wall far the on Hieroglyph
At 10:30 P.M., I am in a bus, around that bus, Nigeria is
burning; to the far left, a boy cut opens his mouth to
mimic the howl rolling out from beside the full moon.
Let’s pretend hunger is not his instructor and hold out
our faces into autofocus: these AI microchip lenses on
our eyes: the polite way to say, green, white and green
is the color of my problem, too. In Kano, another boy
my age presses himself to the wall of a chapel to muffle
the blast of the C-4 strapped to his waist. It’s not God’s
fault if the dandelions here no longer parachute wishes
into His waiting hands. Education, an origami. Here,
everyone is fickle: a blow away from becoming dust.
Let’s say I will die at the age of 40; I’m only halfway
through. In the kitchen, a drop of water spread out on
my palm; imagine my shock when I see specks of glass
glittering down my pores. Today, without the buzz
outside, life in Benin is a steady pour of quiet and hum.
The second-into-second burst in my chest is as faint as
a single feather dropping, dropping. Tomorrow,
however, is a boulder in motion____ the rumble of it
like marriage a few fights from divorce. My country is
the scariest of gothic. I hold a knife to my jugular before
interpreting the hieroglyph on the far wall. About
colonialists, yesterday they take a calabash. Today they
take the Benin Ivory mask. Tomorrow our children must
travel abroad to see how our country looks like. In this
poem, I kowtow before god and thereafter hold up an
abacus on how to channel lightning to the right places
and on the right persons. His response like a radio stuck
between two different channels.
Enotor Prosper is a drummer. He studies in the University of Benin, Nigeria. His poem, “Origami // or an apogue to David’s lasciviousness” will be out this fall in Ecotheo Review.