Drawing Lines

by Richard Ali

For Troy and Chibuihe

 

I’ve got pigeons in my roof
 
a friend was robbed the other day
in Nairobi, gun shoved to his ribs
— of law books, money and Arundhati Roy
 
Another was kidnapped, held for days
for an essay he’d written, lives still
in the sleepwalk space of strange mares
obscene horses hitched atop a hill
looking down
 
— Have you watched pigeons fly?
 
Desire is a semicircle that stops midway
to see the world, carve a name on rocks
make love to djinns, fight grey blue children
who on close inspection look a lot like you
 
The arc is abandoned but the line does not stop
becomes the faint entrails of jets above
and bye bye and tears
 
tell me, country, what happens when the boys
cannot stay, grow dark wings and fly away
never to return again.
 

About the poet:

Richard Ali is a Nigerian author and member of @JaladaAfrica. His debut collection, “The Anguish and Vigilance of Things” will be published by Konya Shamsrumi (Lagos).

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