Written By: Abdulbasit Yusuff

I want to tell you a tale about:

how my guts turn strings & sing elegies

for the grave I hold in my stomach

how I’m fodder for the jokes of wanton kids

by day

& food for the proboscis of mosquitoes

by night

how the sun thinks of my head as a footstool

how cold snuggles in the crevices of my bone

& my heart. they say cold likes empty places

I want to tell you:

how dreams drown in the sea that

erupts in my eyes when I see a school

how my tongue unfurls into a peal of pleas

at motor parks;

how my palms are curved like a bowl,

how life has relegated me to the bottom

of pots, to scavenge

I know what neglect smells like:

my memory of home is as vague as the smell

of clean water

& water is luxury

sometimes I feel the scars on my back can tell

this tale better. they are fresher than my mouth

So as I perch on the window of your car

chanting journey mercies, say a prayer

that I journey this earth well, too. Because

my soles may have memorized the city’s roads

but my soul is learning the weight of despair.

Abdulbasit Yusuff is a lover of arts and literature who enjoys writing short stories and experimenting with poems. He earned a diploma in Science Laboratory Technology at The Federal Polytechnic, Bida. Some of his works have been published on Tuck Magazine, Kalahari Review, Echelon Review, Prachya Review and Spark of Hope: an anthology of poems for saving lives. Abdulbasit writes from Abuja, Nigeria.

Photo Credit: Tomas R, Pexels.com