Isolate my thoughts too by Muslimat Tinoula Fatokun

I saw a shadow last night,
dark, weaving the moon into words,
beneath silvery linings of premature petals,
that moaned to stings of impatient bees.

so my ears wiggled to the music of
the breeze drowning my thoughts
watching empty streets dancing to trebles
and the dusty windows that adorned temples.

I wonder:
Are there missuses trapped in houses without their men?
Are there missuses trapped in houses with their men?
Are there men trapped in houses with their missuses?

My neighbour says our snow will someday turn into dust;
the trees will dance to the birds’ songs.
But will my lustrous hair hurriedly lose its shine
before the veils are lifted and barricades, broken?

Bad things are happening. Desert sands have blown
over a thousand dozen footsteps.
Tiny green figs dancing seductively on tired fences
paints a picture of lovers making love in this silence.

Do lovers smile as they kiss their screens over video calls?
Sad. A time traveller claimed the world might end in half a light-year
on a day the sun sets in the east,
and crisis form in our nostrils. When

the air is hard to breath,
I wonder if loners think good thoughts when they are stuck
away from home and if the desert thorns feel any soft.
Does this world still sing in its shackles?

Will the virus teach people to hug tighter or
move past one another with nothing more than a whisper?
Last night, Dusty rolled his eyes over in his head,
dark spots, shivering tail, oblivious of the world’s ending.

He caught fireflies in our bed
and hardly cares about these thoughts in my head.
Mama says a place remains where bliss is unending only after the rapture.
Over the telephone. “Darling, it’s blurry but true. Believe”

I want to know when the air is ours to breathe. Unobstructed.
If feisty cats will chase rabbits caught on my fence’s chipping edges.
When will friends go out and fight over pizza slices?
Will the sun set again in the west?

Muslimat is a poet and writer from Nigeria. She lives in a place in the country’s famous brown-roof city, Ibadan. Her poem has been published in print in an anthology on gender based violence by She will speak series.
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