Poet-Today | SAI Sabouke | The Arts-Muse Fair


she was reciting suratul Rahman
when she got to the verse:
fabi ayyiha la ir rabiku ma tukazziban
she held me close and kissed me
a light shone in my mouth and i gulped it
is this not haram, i asked
she smiled and replied
which of the favours of Allah would you deny

there are two heavenly muezzins
veiled by her hijab that call me:
hayya alal falah, hayya alal falah
so i hasten to salvation in the Eden masjid,
her body alhamd Allahul Akbar
which among your favours would a sane man deny

i was thirsty
there is a dam below her torso
my lips grew into diggers
so i dug until i found water
a girl is a dam holding
thirst-quenching waters
which among the favours of
would you deny
He created thirst
and created a river
in the body of a woman 

epitaph (for the graves i know, unmarked)

here lies aisha adele, 38
cold in a ritzy #700,000 coffin
she slipped and broke life's earthen jar
looking for #700 to get medicine
for her breath-eating malaria fever

here in this grave lies shehu dan amu, 22.
poverty pulled him out of school.
while digging his way through life
he broke the threshold of death
his sweat became the naira notes
that paid bills for his younger brother's surgery

under this piece of land adorned with roses
lies habeeba nuhu, 19.
a rare ruby among debris of rust
death took her by her father's door
she begged to marry her beloved
alas, death came 'fore her father's consent

here lies amina issa zazzau, 23
a 300 level law student in sokoto
her mind fell in trance after memorizing
the constitution of the vultures republic of nigeria
she was consumed by state-owned bullets
while marching for her faith in Zaria

here lies my country,
a quicksand of despair
gulping her own breath
in the hospice her presidents have taken her to
she will gulp her last after she's dust 

we see our god in lagos

we are eyes
if god is a cheek
tears are the prayers
we will send him
until he is drowned
in bitter waters of our grief

but we are not eyes
and our god is not a cheek

yesterday my sister asked
what do we call a god
that dances on his worshipers
as their blood is spilt
by 'unknown gunmen’?

few years ago, mother said
a god was seen dancing in kano
while in yanya bombs shatter his land
and his servants’ flesh
and blood paints the streets

history comes to us
like menstrual waters
our fate is set on repeat
while bullets of 'unknown gunmen'
come digging holes in the bodies
of our people in zamfara
we see our god in lagos
dancing among strangers


SAI Sabouke (formerly Siraj A Sabuke) is a made-by-Nigeria writer living in New Bussa, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He finds Sufism, History and Language as fascinating tools for man and society regeneration. His writings have appeared in Dugwe: Online Journal of Abuja Writers Forum, Synchronized Chaos Magazine, Peacock Journal, African Writer and elsewhere. Sabouke loves beans and dreams of roasting the entrails of vultures.