Right or wrong, the century burns
Rancid arsonists. My dreams creep supine:
gazing into the skyish weal–
stars by ajar declension–
800,000 Naira a job, red kola.
To survive I have to give up–
Enucleate my rights & country
from my soul & body.
I once contemplated my soul’s insurance
from televangelists & infomercials–
God’s iron foot-soldiers
Who alter & fast-track destiny.
Here, choice is expensive–
It’s a heaven first-class ticket
Cutting corner is still illegal &
Defrauding the system works perfectly.
The day my rights spoiled &
only corruption can fix her
my future burned in my presence
nonstop, like a wildfire
That no quenching water
is coming for her.
Outside the dark mouth of the city
door opens, then closes
Out there, I could be anything I wanted
They say, but, living is an inferno &
I’m too electric to live in water
the burning sky has no door.
God is still listening to what
he must already know
Suppose you tell a stranger everything
& he becomes everyone
The girl you kiss that slaps you
The uncle’s wife that shows you her boobs
Some memories talk like a verse
& shocks like a high tension wire
There are holes in your heart
you sealed with bruises
Suppose everything’s open
& searches for whom they’ve wrong
Secrets replaced by the
Coins God & Devil tossed?
Secrets watching like gallows Alma
Secrets searching for a dying mate.
Umar Yogiza Jr is a builder, writer and freelance photographer living in Northern Nigeria. Collecting words & meeting young writers gives him joy, as he awaits the result of the coin of life tossed by God & Devil. His work can be read in Heartburn Review, Pikerpress, Tuck magazine, Spillwords, Poeticdiversity, The Indian Feminist Review, Nthanda Review and elsewhere.