Written By: Tukur Ridwan

Tukur writes about violence on women in this rather brilliant poem littered with imageries that leap right out of the page. He models a potent way to join our voices in the clamor for social change. ‘before a woman marked her body unsafe’ is a beautiful read!

safety is now a sun setting at the other
end of a vast sea
a girl’s haven
has been pillaged
her body branded with the labels
of a time bomb
adorned with the buttons of guilt
shame & panic
on her chest

there is a boy who thinks that’s not guilt
he thinks to be tingled is to be pleased

you can’t walk bare in your own room
the windows & walls harbor
burglars of bodies
like camouflaged chameleons

your openings are tunnels
to trauma because the groins of beasts
never sleep they are night trains

your breasts are booby traps
to your peace of mind

you’d be scared to tread downtown

the night is insecure of your strides
the day now connives
with the growls
of ghouls ready
to rape you of your breath

if you walk here
a goat would salivate over your legs
& run after you like tuber

you can’t walk here again

if you stay there
another ape is craving to hop on you
like the nearest branch

you can’t stay there again

everywhere is a jungle

jungle injustice— some men would chide you
for walking free & let their heretic brother
go after desecrating your temple

houses are not homes
to a woman anymore

a roof now obliterates
with the evil of fathers
& brothers in disguise

Tukur writes from a coastal axis in Lagos Island, South-Western Nigeria. His poems have been published in journals including Libretto Magazine, The Quills, Art Of Peace Anthology, Ngiga Review, and elsewhere. He won the Brigitte Poirson Monthly Poetry Contest (March 2018) and shortlisted in the Collins Elesiro Poetry Prize (June 2019), among others.

In 2019, his debut poetry chapbook, A Boy’s Tears On Earth’s Tongue was published. His poems are inspired by existence, ruins, memories, identity and, the inherent crisis, creation and desires.

Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels