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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.

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