In Lagos, Bodies Switch Music in a Tanker Fire

that day, the cloud opens hurriedly for
a prophecy of smoke, it opens like daybreak
and it’s so funny how bodies make fire easily,
everyone carried race all over their bodies,
black. black. black.
no one remained the same like a chronicle
no one knew how explosion uses human voice
no one knew how fire opens a body
layer by layer until DNA becomes an
identification messiah,
imagine seeing a boy dying outside a car
where you’re locked inside
while fire approaches you with a letter,
imagine a man in a praying position
on the steering before metal pleats his faith,
bodies switch music and dirge is a type of music
a boy sings and water is a tenor of things too weak
to stay in a body full of darkness, a motor’s wiper
mimes death, and his full light dies into seconds
noises drown this city of brown bodies,
do not call this place a mortuary
do not say this body doesn’t resemble your father,
do not seep this broken news into your veins
like the tweaking of injections into a body of deaths,
do not switch on the TV for they still won’t be sure
of the death toll, till the cloud closes like memories.

Mesioye Johnson is a writer who loves the darkness of the world, hence, the gift of art he gives.

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