Innocence Pawned

(For Chris Okiri, how again do we spell doom?)

And it went round

like rumour, same tumour:

Warri boys are skillful bullies

from the bleeding coasts

tributaries of thrash-filled rivers.


Write, write some tributes for innocence pawned

on the altar of cheap change.

Write some tributes for boys

boys who under a simpler state of the sky would have been men

men with special senses

men with bag-load of brains

men with sexy synonyms for shit.


And for your time, write another round of lamentations

for victims of dawn, of blighted blessings

women, women of Warri

and do not forget the girls

remember the girls with their battered breasts.

Culled from The Texture of Air (2015), a poetry collection by Sodiq Alabi