The distance between the bullet & the body
is a protest poem; I too am just a metaphor
away from filling a grave, I will bless today
if it closes outside a coffin. This earth is
a chapel of names torn from their bloodline;
we tell Kola to greet an ancestor as a shovel
reddens his skin. & read funeral as police,
read officer as autopsy, their black uniform;
black magic—just a sleight of hand & Jimoh
begins to bloodlet. I swear, my youth is pass
for an arrest. Somewhere, a cell reeks of
boys beaten into clumps. We know of a river
clotted by cadavers; Chijioke‘s father waded
through the water for the body of his son.
& is it not suicidal, to be young in this land?
Each new day is a prayer to never know the
wetness of our blood; we say, let wherever
this body touches be softer than a bullet.
For in this country, everything is fashioned
for your grief—the wind is a gun, the trees
the mouth of a gun.