Michael Imossan


After the country had slept, I allowed my eyes unfurl to watch the soft feathery palms of the sun
open to gather night into its mouth. The stars disappearing into a song that holds no breath but
silence. The day is bleak with the colour of remembering; how a bleeding rainbow snuggled
under the wings of a scrawny bird for safety. memory is a bastard: what I mean is, it has no
father to teach it the courtesy of knocking before entering. I am standing beside mama’s eyes,
sifting your dead body from her brows. She is telling me a story; of times when father’s poured
their shadows into enamel cups before darkness could burn it away; of a sea that once mourned
the loss of a body it could not swallow. There are no dreams here, no songs/ just the noise from
our neighbour’s generator prancing the nude darkness in our home. The carbon fumes choking
the neck of country’s hope—and there is no light —and there is no light —and the refrigerator
isn’t cold enough to preserve our fresh                          tomorrow. From the balcony, I watch
lizards frolic over moss covered fences, the sky clad in broken crystals cast its shimmering ray
upon clouds learning the smell of formaldehyde like cotton wools in mortuaries. Mama wrings
water from her cloth, wrings the last drop of hope left in her vein and strings them over the naked
wire sloping into our compound from the pole obeying yesterday’s wind.

“Nepa!” The little boy from our neighbour’s room yells.

How I explain natural and unnatural occurences to my little brother;

(i)     every varicose vein is lightning trapped in flesh.
(ii)    every lightning is a varicose vein that could not make it back home.
(iii)   rape is another way of saying a hurricane fell in between a girl’s thigh.
(iv)   have you not been taught in school? Here, a boy can also stray into the flesh of a
bullet.(at least, that’s what we hear in the news)
(v)    a dreadlocks is a bad omen (do not wear it for whatever reason)
(vi)   some women are refugee camps, some men are war zones. Do you not know?
         can love a person into madness.
(vii) The bruises on mama’s skin are just colourless rainbows waiting on a peacock.
(vii)  how can evaporation be something other than our tears falling skywards to
become spittle in god’s mouth.
(viii) rainfall is the sky trying to become human again. (Some people can never be
humans; they are just skies barren of rain)
(ix)  gravity is a way of saying the sun is scared of height without poking its ego.(Ask it
to jump, to fall like rain and see if it would)
(x)   do you know? our million dead breathe through whirl winds.
(xi)  love? Love is a road; some people get lost, some people get swallowed, some
people get abandoned.
(xii) forgetting can be healing when remembrance begin to taste like knife cuts
(abandoned memories can grow cobwebs)
(xiii) our dream is the safest place to hide (death passes through our country’s map)

My dear,
                                     Things just happen here.

Michael Imossan

Michael Imossan is a writer keen on expressing himself through all genres of literature. His works have appeared in Brittle Papers et al.