Six-T years we are still holding this riven prism,
this opaque prism whose sex stretches
from a bearded minaret in Maiduguri
to a cassocked swastika in Yenagoa.
This prism that reflected beams of blood
we couldn’t swallow, beams that are still
gagging us with hatred of light.
Because light first came as a powdery fire
melting up the shackles fetched under River Thames
into a plateau of tuffaceous corpses in Jos.
79 months after the prism has learned
how to tie a wrapper of oneness round
its waist scarred by bleeding tribal marks,
a fire of incest rose and melted a rusty
division sign into her derriere, dividing
it into two unequal shards:
the first reflecting yellow beams of a butchered
sun whose center is a portrait of lost;
the rest, they say, is a history that we still carry
on the cicatrix of our broken voice.
The same cicatrix that makes an almajiri
in Babaldu miss the differential sign hanging
just between prism and prison.
Abdulbaki A Ahmad is a poet, essayist and short story writer currently rounding up his Electrical Engineering B.Eng program at Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil. He was the 2019 first prize winner of the National Engineering Science and Tech Essay Competition (NESTEC) and a 2020 shortlist for Libretto Chapbook Series/Prizes. He has been featured in various international and local anthologies. He currently writes from Jigawa.