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    Last night as we circled the streets of Abuja,

     

    Last night as we circled the streets of Abuja,

    Don and I, scavenging the many bounties of our youth

    I felt my inner child being lowered slowly from a hearse

    Into a very dark place.

    I struggled to pull myself from the edge

    but then I heard you say,

    “Charles relax; this world is a one-time affair.”

     

    I inhaled deeply the cold harmattan air

    And let slip from my hand the last straw of control

    And all the morals of a good upbringing

    Into the asphalt road of those yellow-lighted streets.

    Streets that have got long memories,

     

    Street that knew many histories,

    Yet bore no hope for the people plying upon it

    – the child beggar suffering from polio and poverty

    The policeman seeking for bread and bribe to feed his family

    The taxi men, the club bouncers, the suya-men that came

    And went with their shadows on their head.

    I looked at my watch and saw wrapped around my wrist

    The treacherous hands of time. I said;

    “Tomorrow is pregnant, I think I better take my leave.”

    But you replied, “Charles relax; this world is a one-time affair.”

     

    We circled the streets, looking for parties and prostitutes.

    Plundered the night – smelling of cigarettes and alcohol.

    Our drunken laughter rang loudly around us

    As we picked up a prostitute from the roadside.

    Who said, “A naira for a night, we are the best the city has to offer.

    A naira for a night, love cannot be any cheaper.”

    She set herself on the pavement of an open street

    And bared all her fruits.

    She placed herself in my arm, and I kissed her full on the lips,

    And I felt the moon bury her face in our hands,

    And the stars hide their lustre from the sky,

    But before my inner child breathed its last

    I heard you say, “Charles relax; this world is a one-time affair.”

     

     

     

    ***

    About The Author

    Okoye 1
    Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye is the editor of Ink15 and co-founder of Lyriversity. His blog is http://ink15.wordpress.com/. Mr. Okoye’s poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Bahati Books, Brittle Paper, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, African Writer, Kalahari Review and several other entities.