Rainstorm in Lafenwa

Saheed Sunday

By Saheed Sunday

there are different voices at the centre
of what holds láfeńwá up. the first time
we held our heads over the demarcation
between this home and the rest of the city,
we witnessed faith crawling into versions
god might have skipped their details: cracks
in the voice of the boy who covers the naked
ness of his two ears with his palms, and calls to
prayer. mammoth lumps in the throat of a wild
catechist who believes every mistake she makes
must have been because of one of her heavy
sins. ará-òrun carrying a broad-rimmed calabash
over his head, and speaking in the tongue
everyone agrees is owned only by someone long
dead. a breach between the living and the dead.
a group of ragged children racing dust to the homes
of their fathers, reading the multiplication table 2.
two men, strapped in dirty buba and hoes, click-
ing fingers at the scenery of an atonement placed
on the t-junction of ìbarà that leads to everywhere
but home. mushrooms and snails scattered at
the feet of a tree who promises to eat you
if you go too deep into the woods. it never takes
forever to be named after two or three stalls. it
all depends on how many gods you can invoke at
a time. you hold your head up, & breathe & live.

Saheed Sunday, NGP V, is a Nigerian poet and a HCAF member. He has his works on Shrapnel Magazine, Rough Cut Press, The Temz Review, Brittle Paper and elsewhere. He tweets on @saheedtsunday. He can be reached on @poetsundaysaheed on Instagram.