By Zaynab Bobi
Law of invisibility: arrange the atoms in a solid object randomly. Heat at high temperature and cool down immediately.
There is a realm in my mouth
In my mouth, there is a dream
In the dream, men are wingless canaries
And water is extinct from the breast of the sea.
With the day scattered all over the bodies we will later come to lose,
I filtered the sun and sang the moon into the ears of the night.
Is this not what the body does, holding what does not belong to it?
I fought for my breath to remain in my lungs like bees in their hives,
But I lost it when I chanted a bamu tsaro, give us security.
As if to say, my mouth whiffed out a bamu tsoro, give us fear.
I hoisted a white flag on the street and my mother buried another child.
I have seen home scraped out of the anatomy of its name,
Children blown until they are as weightless as their dreams
And their mothers’ bodies evolved into a garden of chrysanthemums.
I wonder if this country is another form of exile.
If you must know, this is how my country made us invisible:
Chased from home,
Heated under the sun’s gathering skirt
And drown in other names of water—
Zaynab Bobi, Frontier I, is a Nigerian-Hausa poet, digital artist, and photographer from Bobi. She is a member of HCAF, and a Medical student at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. Her works have appeared in Strange Horizons, FIYAH Magazine, Native Skin, Lucent Dreaming, Agbowo, MaskLit, Anomaly, Night Coffee Lit, and elsewhere. She recently joined Visual Verse as an intern assistant editor and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Strange Horizons, and a Best of The Net Award. She tweets @ZainabBobi.