Olaitan Humble

Fallen (2020)

“For the sake of democracy,
Nigeria’s #EndSars campaign against police brutality must prevail.”

—The Washington Post (October 13, 2020)

sweat snakes down my forehead / a dawn of drought, a sore throat
—both escort me to the protest site. another bottle of water down

the pit of my throat / a morning cloudburst foreshadows misery.
woe betide this country. a flash of lightning quakes mama’s boudoir.

another broomstick falls to the ground / rainshades grace the skies.
another broomstick falls to doddering praying palms. protesters

become water lilies crushed in the corners of my mouth / now my
mouth carries a mix of cursings and blessings for the motherland.

fallen / a stare at our insignia halts my watch. the clear skies bear witness.
october newborns suffer the same fate as the fallen soldiers at the brink of death.

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