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When A Country Becomes Too Much, And We Say, Fuck It! by Prosper C. Ìféányí

Updated: Jul 6

After the Nigerian #EndSARS Protest

Diagram this. A country gifts you a corpse

for dinner, & grains of bullets to go with

your shame. In your voice, is a burning

gown of time & catalysis—

In your heart, to be human is to manufacture

the saddest song. With time, the body

wilts like a flower & shreds every unmovable

light. A radiant number of excuses to escape

one's self.

All the windswept darkness starts at a river. The

river of noughts & crosses; a fish-bowl of

unsweetened ache. When a people are tired

of dust settling on their lids, they long for that

which drapes the uncoloured path

to freedom— moving en masse to an estranged

colony. We move in transit, our mouths

the battered string of a matchmade violin.

When the cobweb commits idolatry,

know it worshipped & aided a colony of ants.

All I can do is mourn the only way I understand.

To music the shame of a country is to let

a bullet through the thick skin of faces blotched

in laughter & pepper spray

during a mass

protest. When a country becomes too much,

we tell the dark to safekeep our tomorrow

because that is all there ever is to lose in a

war. Guillotined trees & women heavy on

the sex they give the men

before the war drum is slit— in their rusting

they understood what it meant

for a country to be the bane refuted, &

the light hoped for.

Even children in a time of war

don't wish to be superman; they just

want their countries back.


Prosper C. Ìféányí writes from Lagos, Nigeria. His works are featured or forthcoming in The Offing, South Florida Poetry Journal, Obsidian Lit, and elsewhere.

This poem was selected by Anthropocene guest editor Tom Branfoot.


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