Residue

Plunge in carbon emissions from lockdowns will not slow climate change

                                    — National Geographic

When we cut epitaphs into the trees, the fruits

            inherit the scars —

leaves lost in our transgressions, hold wilt

            for all to witness: clouds, sea, land & sun

the winds summon the soul of smoke from

            the mouth of the exhaust of old trucks

they converge as gases – spirits pregnant with

vengeance

cleaving the breast of the ozone, calling forth

            the wrath of the ultraviolet

the sea swallows the swans and sharks

            & the land reclaims her womb

i don’t know of a man who ever made peace by

            hiding.

that the birds hibernate hardly means they have

renounced their wings —

we have curled into ourselves, sheathing the tip

            of our swords; but what is it we plan

on doing to these orphans roaming the air,

            wailing a dirge as old as age?

About The Author

Abdulbaseet Yusuff is a Nigerian writer whose works have appeared or
are forthcoming in Brittle Paper, African Writer, Rising Phoenix Review,
Praxis Magazine Online, Kalahari Review, Prachya Review and Memento: An
Anthology Of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry. He won the Abubakar Gimba Prize
for Fiction (December, 2019)

Ngiga
editor@ngigareview.com
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