Nov 152012

by Agholor Leonard Obiaderi


The balcony puffers with their squat

 bellies of gasoline  out-number all

our pores.

Your skin and mine.


Power generators plug their pipes into

our narrow alley-ways,

 lined with hair. Exhale,


inhale. Carbon-monoxide smoke

lays eggs

in infant lungs. Our faces,


 ripen into crimson fruits

then, become black, the colour

that enriches the fading into



The  National Electricity Company crows

a darkness,

mid-way between Lagos and Abuja

like an impotent rooster .


Enter the balcony puffers

invading lungs with locusts of smoke.


For breakfast,

we eat bread baptized with spongy

 spores of carbon. The butter is

laced with soot. Lunch is


beef of carbon barbecue.

During dinner, the tyranny of

 smoke hugs balconies, rampaging

 through heart chambers.


 Red blood cells commit suicide like

clouds caught in a storm.

The balcony puffers  give black-ribboned

 gifts. We flee their last