Two Micros by Ebele Mogo

"Bones" & "Before daybreak"


You tell me things they taught you
things you’ve heard and read
things certain to receive the old applause
the nod of familiarity, the bored but firm ‘yes’

But I have been waiting for you
to talk to me about things you know
things you alone have seen
things that captivate and terrify
things that offend and cause wahala

Tell me of the things I see forgotten
like desert sand in your eyes
the things abandoned there
in the innocent curve of your smile
things that stubbornly cling
to your self-deprecating shrug

Tell me

I have been waiting for you
to take a risk to be about something
in your blood
and in your bones

Before daybreak

Before daybreak:
immigrants exhausted from night shifts
will remit tiredness and care
to loved ones in other time zones
fastening cords of blood that are thicker
than the oceans between them
mobs will turn streets into abattoirs
by seizing young men out of beds
out of the lullaby of the late breeze
and the roundness it finds
after love is made
children tired from hawking
chasing cars to ask for money
will find a corner in their corner
of the ghetto
to rest their wares
and their tired heads
girls who have misplaced
the luxury of childhood
of plans for university, career, love
will toss and turn on their captors’ beds
finding solace in fractured dreams