I will protect like a seatbelt,
The essence of my life
Like the police dogs in my yard,
The sulky creamy orange masters bed
I will protect with my mind’s eye,
The smoky black grey kitchen wall
I long to see,
To reminisce about the length of my life,
The essence of my existence
The violence in my dual identity
The undulating terrain of ‘Omagba’
The wooden kiosks along gutters smelling of decaying fish and shit in ‘Amazoba‘
The face-me-I-face- yous just before ‘mkpologwu’
The tarpaulin sheds and their bowls of rotten beans, local rice and rat-infested garri
The eroded roads along ‘Udodi’
Signs of back room deals
Signs of corruption, ‘godfatherism’ and political ‘iberiberism’
Then the staring eyes,
Bulgy eyes, yellow eyes, red hot eyes,
Eyes in black bodies covered with harmattan dust and classroom chalk
Eyes in pimply faces, fresh faces and brown powdered faces
Eyes in wrinkled faces with grey hair and sagging folds of skin in the forehead and jawline,
Eyes that has witnessed the terror of war and the arrow of God,
Eyes that conceive the deliverance of demons from humans in white overalls,
Through spankings with white plumpy pigeons
Or thrashing with a long pruned mahogany branch
Eyes that witnessed the roar of thunder
The wrath of ‘Amadioha’
That appeased ‘Eri‘ with an egg, some kolanut and some garden pepper in a handcrafted calabash in the crossroads of ‘Abba’ street
Eyes that were approaching their late forties or their early thirties,
Eyes that are not over 21, but have beheld the engulfing labyrinth of Chioma, the tempting bosom of ‘floxy’ and the sink hole of a fifty year old ‘baby gal for life.’
Is it really home?
Or any other place between West Africa and Egypt?
Through the veins of Abraham, to Gad, to Eri?
Somewhere between Edo and Enugu?
Is it really home?
Or is it a place Encompassed by the ‘Oxytocin’ in Azikiwe’s head
Or by the bulging phallus of Ojukwu?
Do I have one?
There was a man, with no country.
Struggling in the suburbs of unified national patriotism and ethnic resurrection
Between Biafra and Nigeria.
What is worse?
A man confused about his line of descent?
Or a man with no country?
In my green army overalls, what am I fighting for?
The resurrection of Biafra
The unification of Nigeria
The lives of blood thirsty herdsmen
The lives of revenge stricken Biafrans
Do I really have one?
Or am I just a puppet in a system designed for privileged racism?
A home that discriminates and seethes propagandized hate.
The fuel for my incumbent fear
The furnace of my distress
And the driver of paranoid restlessness.
Where my fear was realized
When the Python danced,
Our brothers were forced to drink muddy waters
Alas! when 300 lives was traded for 300 cows
Where cows study in classrooms and children stare in mock terror.
I snap out of the wicked reality.
Into the physical reality made possible by some amazing work from my eyes to brain using visible light.
Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
Where every Friday night is party night.
Where one ‘pantimeter‘ makes one ‘benzimeter‘
Behind closed doors, emanating are smokes of fragrant calamus and anointed weed.
‘Mir s toboy’