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  • Hussain Ahmed


Because I am black, I know it does not surprise you

that I killed when I was seven: I killed a wall gecko

because our mother was afraid of it

she tells me to hit it on the head, don’t let the tail fall

she teaches me to be clinical with my executions

our mother never says anything about jail

each time I hit the head, the tail falls

I did not tell mama of this

she will tell me I have sinned

she locks herself in the bathroom when I go to dispose

the cadaver, she warns me not to bury it in the garden

I fear that she fears it will grow on her day-lilies

tell me, how old were you, when you learn to fear,

to fear me? when will you learn to love the roll

of my tongue?

tell me, when will you learn to pray that this merry go round?

Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer. His poems are featured or forthcoming in Vinyl, Sakura Review, Public Pool, inter|rupture, Rise Up Review, One, and elsewhere

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