LHR: by Nick Makoha (Uganda)

The #Babishai2015 third place poem

LHR:  by Nick Makoha (Uganda)

An airport is a room. I keep talking as if my body is elsewhere.

In full sight of a crimson God as children we were burdens,

coffins with eyes. A professor steps into the light to educate us.

You can’t kill the dead twice. Has he seen the militia slide down

a mountain like goats, or a beatingheart explode on to a barrack wall?

Even the coffee I brought back in hand luggage when poured in a cup

is an eye, a past dark itching for light.Therefore, I cannot be the memory

of your death, let me bend the waya river does, all shadow and sound,

around a hill, towards a village I once recognised. There are days

when this unplanned landscape speaks its music, above a ribbon of stars,

below a wall of torn out tents and beyond a river waiting as one would

the apocalypse. On other daysyouare a name on a list, given to armed men

at a roadblock. Guns held loosely by their waist. Hovering as catfish

in a shallow pool. Before roads led to you, or Livingston’s maps found you,

before the mountains grew their backs, before sight was tempered,

before the revelation on a skies blank page in this perfect chalice of night

you are not the first pilgrim to ask the oracle what will I become me.

If I could  stop the sky from stretching its arms across the horizon,

or the serpent Nile opening it’s mouth toward a sea, or star blinking

in a midnight constellation as god watches your wife wash silk in a stream

would I not stopped our countries screams. I have the luck of Caesar

his robe his crown and quest for immortality but soon this course

of blue and the way it bends  will have no need of me.

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