The trees threw away their clothes waiting for harmattan.
He never came. Who locked the gates of wind? The sun
boiled the oranges into rust & the birds grew gills to swim
the heat. How many twirling fans died that year when we
gathered swollen leaves from sun baked drains? Even the
air conditioning breathed like a bloated river. The price
of water went up; even kisses were hard to come by. The
houses grew lean with thirst no matter how greedily they
sucked on our skins. The rivers all looked askance; they
were wet with the sun’s tears yet they could not run.
Sometimes the clouds peeped through the keyhole & threw
their laundry water through the window. Sometimes they
gathered as if ready to conquer a city then they fled. Who
pursued them from the battlefield, does anyone know?
Some old wives said if you open your door at noon, the
devil was there cooking. Who dragged hell closer to
here? Who knew what wounded the wings of dust; they
never did rise with the sun. Nobody heard the siren of the
Sahara. It was said someone tied her lips with the footprints
of immigrants & terrorists. Some said she choked on the
bones of old sand dunes tired of waiting for the sea. It was
green into January & he had no teeth to eat December’s
children. Now they are raising the portcullis in the kingdom
of rain. There must be a war in the heavens because
harmattan never came.
Osahon Oka is a Nigerian poet who sees writing as an opportunity to experiment with language, a way to show the world what he thinks, and a means to offer a reflection of his lived reality. His writing has appeared in several literary spaces including, but not limited to, Jalada Africa, Lit Quarterly, Lucky Jefferson, Down River Road Review, Dust Poetry Magazine, Lit Break Magazine, Afreecan Read, and elsewhere. He serves as Lead Correspondent at Praxis Magazine. He can be reached on twitter at https://twitter.com/OsahonOka