They said he fell in the shores of Agbana1
the runner with no tracks
they said something left when his shadow
turned to miserable memories blown into forcados2
something like scattered happiness. Those things
his footsteps painted on our faces,
the intermittent drawing back of lips.
They said death came on a certain day
and all they could salvage
was that exhausted shell
that lost the gift of pain
to the predators’ gain.
They said his soul was of puppies and butterflies-
harmless and beautiful
because he disported us with particles of his stupidity.
It wasn’t his soul, something they didn’t know.
How has no one talked about
these hermit crabs that eat up souls? Souls with no bulwark.
How has no one said it is a curse;
a curse to be a wayfarer?
How has no one said his soul had returned
long before they could salvage that useless shell?
How has no one said he was just a puppet
blown around by hermit crabs?
How did they become this dreaded?-
these harvesters of sappy souls;
these creatures of the night, drawing and brewing
wine from gullible arteries;
these sapiens that prey on sapiens
like hermit crabs whistling the life out of periwinkles.
1 Agbana- a name of a town in the Niger Delta
2 Forcados- a river that pours into the atlantic from the south coast of Nigeria.
©Funge-owei Michael Nemine
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