Jesus dies today.
And we never stopped playing. A head falls
Off. Another. One. Two. Three. Four. Four. Four. What are you
Counting? Don’t you know numbers? She quizzed. No. The heads
Keep falling the same way, same place and same time. How do you
Count wastes without being wasted? How do you pull your eyes off
From galaxies of tears without blinking. I said.
Jesus died. Has he resurrected? Are they up?
- My uncle has forgotten his middle name. He knows Jesus and
- Can recite the number of heads fallen. He can paint the city with its
- Dignified horrors, call out death in a mocking tone and drags a cloud over
- A sky – hoist a dark scene – paint the dark scene – spit blood and let the city
- Dance like a weak madman who just learned his trade. My uncle knows
- Jesus. He doesn’t talk of children playing under mango trees in ankara clothes.
- He doesn’t talk about igba-nkwu – he hasn’t seen a marriage scene before. He
- Knows Jesus but doesn’t know whether he has resurrected. Has he? Are they up?
- He’s waiting for my father who’s gone to Maiduguri but papa is never coming.
- One. Two. Three. Four. Four. Four. What are you counting? She quizzed.
- Does granny not say she has five boys and eight grandsons in the city? Are the
- Sons not alike? Jesus is dead and he’s not risen yet. And we are still counting: one.
- Two. Three…
Packingtown Review – Vol.11, Spring 2019
Akpa Arinzechukwu is a Nigerian photographer, writer and educationist. His essays and poems have appeared in many literary journals.