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today, let me tell you of a moving,
safe parcel that lost her map to
the destination. so, do not blame
these verses when you see a boy
of my age holding a knife that is
an exact replica of a suicide rope,
trying to calligraph the way he would
miss his body's soul. do not say
a word when you hear of a woman
that jumped over the fence, perhaps,
her matrimonial home with a heart
that sang of eternal departure,
leaving her children in the burning
home. i think you have never seen
a book that's written in a minute. the
book itself burnt into ashes before
a body, severed of its bones, would
take a read, leaving no page about the

cruel pen that wrote it; perhaps, one
that never thought tomorrow the wind
would break the seven layers of the
earth, and the sky would divorce
the moon, the sun and the weeping
stars; her, herself, would be smeared
by the dust. let me tell you, come a
a new rules for a child to survive in
this home; rules written by these
rakes that never loved the simple art
of raking the ground. first: a boy has
to fake his identity and wear a gown
that's never his; second: a bearded
man's dream must be only how to
sit alone on a president's seat; third:
a shameless lad must steal the box
when D-Day comes; fourth: one must
dry his father amidst the rumbling
rocks to water the hole designed
on his shirt; fifth: a younker, above
18, must be riding a four legged
horse to own a wife; seventh: a
man in black, who stands on the
road, must shake hands with the

innocent body that turns the wheels:
eighth: more rules; nineth; more
and more rules. but, tell me, is this
how we are going to survive? I ask

Gombe State, 2022

Salim Yakubu Akko, 19, is a Nigerian writer, poet and essayist from Gombe state. He has been published in Applied Worldwide, Brittle Paper, The Pine Cone Review, World Voices Magazine and elsewhere. He has been shortlisted for the 2021 Bill Ward Prize for Emerging Writers Akko is a member of Gombe Jewel Writers Association, Creative Club Gombe state University and Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation.



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