Everything can kill you here. Anything can kill you here. In this place, death is the halo on everyone’s head. You don’t need to be a criminal to die here, being alive here is a crime, a grave unforgivable sin. You can die from the anger in a stranger’s heart, the callousness of his soul. You can die from the hands of your neighbor, the man you’ve eaten from the same plate with.

Everyone hunts here. Not for game, but for humans, for our brethren. We hunt our brothers, in their farms, in their homes, we tear at our sisters, at their souls, at their essence. We are conquerors, warriors seeking innocent lives. We are beasts, we are thirsty for blood. Hungry for lives, for souls, for bodies.

We don’t mourn here. When our own die we don’t mourn. We don’t wail. We don’t cry. We move on. We carry the grief in our hearts. We die everyday in the depths of our sorrow. We don’t bury our dead. We carry them in our souls. In our anguish. We carry them with us waiting for when our time will come, because in this place death is a time bomb waiting to destroy us all.

We are children of the dead. Here, our father is a dead man that does not feel the pain of the living. Our father does not feel. He’s drowning in the sea of numbness surrounding him.

Everything can kill you here because there is a mannequin guarding our doors.

Naseeba Babale is a poet, literary administrator and medical laboratory scientist with the Department of Chemical Pathology and Immunology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano. She is a member of Association of Nigerian Authors (Kano State Branch), the Secretary of Poetic Wednesdays Initiative and moderator for Glass Door Initiative’s Poetically Written Prose Contest 2019 and 2020. Naseeba is a graduate of Bayero University, Kano and she’s a columnist for Konya Shamsrumi.

Featured Image by Brett Jordan, Unsplash

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