You are a plant on oil & dark water
growing sideways s l o w l y.
You were bred
under a table on dry crumbs of bread.
You became a table
cruising on four legs; crawling & groveling.
You dream of faraway places
places like the tabletop where cocktail drinks clink.
You try to stand erect on twos
but the mahogany table cracks your head
reminding you of the things you are
level with the cat and the dangling legs
of the children on the chairs in the dining.
You beg doves to count you
a white finger.
You dream of airplanes.
When you dream, you see the planes vanish
in the clouds.
Kids at the dining assume clouds are ice-cream
& rabbit and feathery wool.
But the clouds, white
like a pall for dead bodies swallow your plane.
Now, you only have knees.
Teach me, how does one outgrow his coffin?
The happiness in your hands
The light pouring from his phone
drew the mosquitoes to him
The numbness in his body pleased them
so they built puddles in his eyes.
They formed a twilight orchestra
& sang to him
about the strangers
on his Facebook wall
that glistened like
peppered steaks on a spit
The voices pestered
& his mind festered
He didn’t know the strangers were leftover stews
While they burned bright in their faux
his skin became bumps
His mama suggested happiness was in his hands
He strangled the light on his phone
& the voices grumbled away
then, he sighed asleep.
About The Poet
Abdulbasit Yusuff is a lover of arts and literature who enjoys writing short stories
and experimenting with poems. He earned a diploma in Science Laboratory Technology
at The Federal Polytechnic, Bida. Some of his works have been published on
Tuck Magazine, Kalahari Review and Spark of Hope: an anthology of poems for
saving lives. Abdulbasit writes from Abuja, Nigeria.