Hussain Ahmed

the echoes in the wind        are the whimpering of ghosts
searching everywhere that burn        for warmth.

a well was dug inside a girl because we are at war,
and the thirst of the horses could not be quenched with maple syrup.

she kept counts of wounded men        that offered their hearts
rimmed with bullet holes.
she chooses to remain silent about the dolphins in her stomach,

each of their fins are fragments of stories        about men
that drown        learning to grow gills, because the air is filled
with smoke. I am a souvenir in my father's house, I grow light

anytime I close my eyes.        until the war ends
with music pouring down from the sky

layers of mascara        thicken my eyelashes
to make a bride of my swollen orbs, a map was made of my face.

Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer and environmentalist. His poems are featured or forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Cincinnati Review, The Journal, Magma and elsewhere.

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