Nobody ever survives.
— Margaret Atwood
Ikemefuna certainly didn’t
make it through the forest, pot of palm wine on his head,
with an entourage of slammer mouthed men who led
him to believe he was going home. A lie, but they meant
well. Machete to the neck. Then the unnecessary announcement
My father they have killed me, past perfect, as if he were already dead.
And good weather, maps, company, trusty ship, work permits
didn’t get all the Africans across, packed — like the Escher print
of birds morphing to fish — so you can’t tell what you’re seeing,
lost property, stolen goods. Even if they survived they didn’t survive
to talk about it. And the driver of the tinted window chrome
rimmed black SUV who chose to eat a bagel in the traffic and not ride
the shoulder was still pulled over. No seatbelt. A small thing
relatively speaking. Easy to fix. Don’t go out. Don’t go home