CRISPY SATIRE (ISSUE 7)
TEACHING YOUR DYING CHILD HOW TO BE A GIRL
by Chisom Okafor
You’ll never meet her eyes
because her eyes are tales of a tense
swollen under a joint spell of massaging palms,
and walking sticks, and tennis bats, and cashew sticks
and joysticks…depending on how long.
Your little girl is as well, a stick, just
she fails to meet the specification
and she isn’t anything short of an unnamable,
hole in a lavatory
labeled ‘men only’.
The grandpa next-door grinds brown teeth and
tells you that girls should be cloned octopuses
because she’s 13, and out of school
and out in a school of hard knocks
and has bus-parks for classes and trailer-drivers
for head boys, and for headmasters, grandfathers
who appear at morning assembly, to convince you
in whispers, how girls became women,
girls after first penetration
you’ll routinely pull her legs apart,
and search and claw and dig,
and read oddities into her insides
until there no longer is resilience in her eyes.
Chisom Okafor studied Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His poem was second runner-up in the maiden edition of Nigerian Students’ Poetry Prize. He lives in Enugu State, Nigeria.
THE PARADOX OF JUSTICE…
by Osuji Charles Chisom
They screened off the scene so we
could not see what they saw.
The blood-coated sheet that kissed
the cold floor; and the object of their
study sleeping at a corner – nude and
So we let them do what they do best –
hauling her off on a stretch and resting
her on a table in Death’s room, using
stuffs on her we hate; stuffs like Jagular
tubes, scalpels and saws, perhaps, to
pleasure curiosity and frustrate the
Prior now, at dawn, the sirens had
wailed me out of a million-dollar bed.
And pulled me to my curtains,
and parting, I entered her faculties –
she was the flower that faltered in summer;
the lonely moon that pleasured the night sky.
She had groaned and moaned like a
Who could have heard her when her
mouth was muffled with snow and sloe,
And her cheek – the cleft of beauty –
cuddled with cruel kisses?
Lying on the ceiling and looking up the
Floor, she felt light creep out of
her lungs – like a fatigued millipede –
deserting her to the cold hand
of Death. Oh! How she bowed out of
breath, a defeated dawn, handing us
the baton to finish the struggle!
She expected us to hide under black robes,
clutching briefcases, walking down
the aisle and finding a spot before a
judge to display the law in public eye.
She expected a vigil behind a clustered
desk, our eyes poring over prints like
it was our last day on the job.
She expected much but had little;
our pockets were crazy and tasty.
We are lawyers, bred to uphold Justice.
She knew this and needed this,
but what we offered instead
were flowers on her tiny grave.
We saw her raped in the open field,
cut inside out and sprawled out on
the street like plucked feathers.
All we could do was flash silver teeth,
pop bottles, and dine on gold-plated
tables – money speaks, Madam.
Osuji Charles Chisom is a final year student of Economics in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. He believes poetry is the best medium for expressing thoughts and imaginations.
HOUSES WITH GENERATORS
by Obehi Aigiomawu
Darkness in our bulbs
Darkness on our skins
Nightfall, stingy with the breeze
Big round moon above
And I, a solitary watcher
Our phone batteries are dead
Houses with generators
More attractive than the moon