All Wait to Decay


I take refuge in the bodies that turn
to carcasses. thus, my flesh is a rotten meal.
yesterday, a wolf feasted in our house.
& today, it comes, looking for who is ready
to die. my fears are one. seeing what deprived the
sweetness of the sun from reaching my eyes,
I promise to see God—
folding back the yolk of my neck. even after battling
my fears by fanning my ribs out, I still lament taking
my first breath—a first step to becoming prey.
I am a dead fold of flesh. I fester to decay.
& be it so that all that decays is a feast of vanity.
from a dream, I could hear
my mother calling my name, preening as she stresses the
middle alphabet— bá instead of bà. I wake. hang my grief
in the air. & watch as it levitates. I set it afire then
sleep beside it. Funny—
the ash does not feel like ash, but chalk on my tongue.

Evenings at The Black Pond

the evening comes again
& I eat my meals from the black pond.
in it there’s a loaf of bread bathed with hunger
of love, gin & a leechlike mold.
I don’t know what it means when a black desire
pulls my body to the centre of gravity.
a gateman scorned me for being too lazy
to wear a swimming coat in the sun.
after I burned the hunger that ate my mother’s chest,
nothing remains but the heaviness of ash.
my worst foe is my tongue & I power the course
it takes to spill a thousand curses. like a darnel,
I’m a criminal cespitose feasting in places
others left for me. On this night, I refused to fade.
my face, a blue dye with crippled alphabets
rising from my mouth— which means there is nothing
but deception lying in the stomach of the black pond.

Mubarak Said is a poet, he writes from Gombe State, Nigeria.