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Image by Annie Spratt

CHASE

My brother returned home with a swollen palm—the aftermath of threading Golgotha to survive. An eagle with a broken wing doesn't discard the art of flying. He said he'd be there again tomorrow for his foreman dons the teeth of a vulture. I sit on one of those rickety chairs with glumness. My grief piggybacks a depository of scabbards, each is a metamorphosis of my loss. How does a tongue mangled many times sing? I swear, I struggle to make an orchestra of glee from my body. But, a tulip garden doesn't puke marigolds. Don't preach joy to me if you can't transmogrify my debris field into Babylon. There are raucous knocks on the door now. It's our father, he's drunk again. I can hear him gibber, I will shine again. Oh Lord, make this man Rahu. Our mother is somewhere on the street hurling at low sales. Sister is somewhere in the scrawny laps of old men searching for her daily meal. There's never been a standstill; something is always chasing us. I wonder if this is not a curse strapped to our shadows. Death doesn't even bury the chase for teeth still come for our bodies in the grave.

IFENAIKE MICHAEL AYOMIPO is a young Nigerian writer, from Lagos. His works have been published or are forthcoming on The Quills, The Transit Lit Magazine, Naija Mad Hotstars, Kalahari Review, IceFloe Press and others.