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“Her nightmares follow her out of bed.”


The girl has the same silence
as a pigeon drenched in rainwater,
leaves drenched in rainwater,
a man locked in rainwater,
shadows in rainwater. Dusk makes
everything quiet; the mango tree
by the roadside is watching calmly as I,
an old man, clutch in my arm a walking stick,
a tool for discovery.

The sound of a car engine
sours the song in the girl’s mouth;
she is happy, rich with childhood,
a home she lives in, a home singed
to ashes. My mind wanders over
the hollow space of the road.
The puddles of water carry
a face no longer her own
nor is it mine. Like the evening,
it makes everything quiet,
her mouth sealed, a waxed wall.
Her nightmares follow her out of bed.
Every day, to touch her favorite toy,
touch her toy without a voice
I wait for her to escape. I want
her to escape.




Post image by Maxime Loncke via Flickr

About the Author:

imageSaddiq Dzukogi studied at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He has poems featured or forthcoming in literary publications such as: African American Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Lampeter Review, Juked, Chiron Review, Vinyl Poetry, The Volta, Construction, Welter, among numerous others. He is the author of Sunbeams & Shadows (Origami, Imprint of Parresia Publishers, 2014) and Canvas (kraft Books, 2011). Saddiq is the Poetry Editor of the online journal, Expound. Thrice a finalist in The Association of Nigerian Author’s Poetry Prize. Saddiq lives in Minna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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