By Sanni Oluwatimileyin
for Jimoh Isiaq
a bullet is a traitor.
it begs the flesh to open
into a wound, finds home
within a boy's body
& kills him.
here, i am still trying to understand how
time blindfolds us with ignorance in the face
of a looming bullet, how a boy could be
standing by the roadside, his body: a home
for little pulses of hope, coursing like blood
through tiny veins & in the next moment,
he is sprawled on the ground, his cloth
—once striped blue-white-black, now red
& soggy, as he bleeds out an urn of maroon
dreams / into a pool of crimson blossoms.
woe on he whose finger sends death
on an errand into the thin air to claim
the bodies of boys feeding their minds
with the meaning of resistance. i hold
the image of the dead boy in my mind-
scape, wondering if i can stuff life back
into his body, wondering if i can undo
time such that the bullet travels in reverse
into the offending barrel with a bang
a bang a bang like the sound of rebellion.
This poem is written for Jimoh Isiaq, a bystander who was shot dead during the EndSARS protest.