My left leg
has a ring on each finger is purple goes shopping with
Nana is slicing Salmah up is a professional yogi
is #weshouldallbefeminists is a hallowed guest was not
talking to you talks too loudly, too softly couldn’t find her left
eyeball found out she could eat crabs raw is mixed breed; half
dog, half water is too much salt and not enough honey
is the reason you’re still alive is a mango was beautiful,
Rihannetu just wants to know you’re okay is sometimes a
stone will die from this habit says wash your hands, it’s time
for dinner is dinner is the bloodstained flag from the
– have you seen…? She was last seen wearing…
did not want to be the first to know escaped prison twice swings
her hips softly, softly is a half-boiled egg is not a gender war
embezzled the students union funds picks her ear with a
broomstick is the snake, the apple is the best silk scarf you ever
did see is right corner office meeting at 2pm, sir is working
from home is the neighborhood cat had to clean this up all
by herself got lost on her first day of uni, later found with two canines missing
doesn’t expect to come home to this mess doesn’t want to call, but the walls are
crying again, Rihannetu needs you to sign right here did not
travel all the way down here for this hates her mother loves
her mother is quite the arsonist
– do you dream?
– do you eat the red horse in your dream?
dances, just dances
all the crumbs of you
on my tongue sister fill
between my front teeth
mad bush baby
mouth deliciously pregnant with ash
at the gathering of ghost aunts howling
of knives on chopping boards slamming the night in your face
febrile fermenting fetuses mid-decay stuck
nostrils between your cornrows dangling
from your ears
spittle teeth sweat
so mangled so perforated reeking
of stale milk
have you lost your hips?
do you recall any of it?
who did this to you?
Haneefah Bello is a poet and short story writer from Nigeria. She studies law at the University of Ibadan. Her works have appeared in Akuko Literary Magazine, PoetryColumn NND, Kissing Dynamite, Praxis Magazine and elsewhere. Twitter: @HaneefahBello.
Art: Of Art in the Upside/Down, a visual poem by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2022. Twitter: @frede_kenter