For boy bred on Sunday

a new general…



22 guns salutes the blue moon

its ruinous ascension like a burning bullet train

into the mouth of god


there’re not enough tears to go round

to placate thirst in the veins of a desert

nor memories

like a contemplative lovesong

to say may we always remember

to memorize new routes to your forgiving laughter…

who would’ve thunk that six years after

final roll calls on classroom walls

& solos in the belly of urine-scented dorms

i’d sit here in my room

under the mournful glow of a lightbulb dying young

a million stone-throws away from jos

time – a stolen second from my wristwatch

to compose this song heavier than bile upon my tongue…

who would’ve sworn

that the wind – this wind cold as the whispers

of harmattan – was the woman – a mother…

a sister…

perhaps even a lover… – i saw in a ripped nightgown

roaming the earth of st john’s cathedral that night

flowerpot in hand

dead decomposing child strapped to her back

asking why… why… why did i think he was mine…

now i’m reminded that the world would think

your name an epilogue in this song – if songs do

harbor such unflattering traditions

that one day perhaps already long gone

oceans will rise high enough to quench the sun

& i’ll no longer enchant darkness with the loner’s eyes

who often watched from the shadows of other wanderers…

so as i stumble through this long goodbye rid of commas

i wonder if you’re cold & afraid wherever you’re

if you’ve wandered far from happiness as i have

if there’s water to remind you what freedom was once like

but i’ve resolved not to ask god why for even he

may be a lie – the beginning of the road so far behind

it is already ahead of us…

- JK Anowe