Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

(16 January 1968 / Umuahia, Nigeria)

Market


Streaming and strolling, this hour,
With whiffs of ceremonies crowning scented din.
An acidic flavour, grimed with banded beads of sweat.
The visitors and the hosts –
Kings and lackeys and castrated minions.
In hay were clusters and bunches dunked in
Immiscible oil-and-water fraternity.
This air stifles me.
I lose courage even though the sun
Bears me witness.
Now the earth is full like an old necropolis.
Slabs are broken.
Knolls cake, break and yield to earthy pressure
Among half-fallen crucifixes chanting spells.

And they come and go.

Night.
Vestiges only – pestles and mortars –
One volcanic rage, muted,
And with the leaning efforts of mercies.
A black sentence for subterfuge.
Such cold and reverberating pulse of a silenced day!
The stars hide from perfidy,
Refraining from the witness stand –
The curiosity of silence.

Remnant of a heartbreaking day.

Submitted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Edited: Friday, March 21, 2014
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