Driving Downtown

the other side breathes quiet   i hear
many people have left      but
the town  isn’t completely dead   yunno
alive     but in ways that make you think
zombies           think weevil-holed
bean seeds       think half-healed bruises
leaking pints of blood       inside a car
i wave              back at the woman
in an ice cream shop    i bop my head
to loud music     from barbershops
i drive in silence               asking no one
why half the houses here
are locked             i know all that talk
about inheriting wounds
from bodies you make a home in
i’ve heard the news—       a fingernail
scratching the scars of yesterday’s ruins
in the blocks         everyone knows how
to run through gun smoke         knows
when to take their name back    from
the ache the city lost itself to        i get
why everyone asks    which town i came
from    if i know what i’m risking
being on the road   all  by myself    if my
plans include    returning home before
it gets dark     why i chose to pry through
a wound     in the middle of healing


Abu Bakr Sadiq

Abu Bakr Sadiq is a Nigerian poet. He is the winner of the 2022 IGNYTE Award for Best Speculative Poetry. His work is nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Rhysling Award and is published/forthcoming in Boston Review, Palette Poetry, FIYAH, Uncanny Magazine, Augur Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, Covert Literary Magazine, Zone 3 Press Magazine, Iskanchi Press & Magazine, Lolwe, The Lit Quarterly, Rockvale Review, Best of New Myths Anthology, and elsewhere. He writes from Minna. Find him on Twitter @bakronline.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. You can register here.