THE FALLEN

   
Kwubei Nnebuifé, 2018

 I hear her screaming time and time again
This time, her vocal cords sending ripples that scaled through our fence,
swiped our curtains, broke our locked doors, noiselessly
and made for our hearts
Her voice, smeared to fragments, with some lost underneath the graveside of failed marriages and others hanging on
hope for respite, in the frame of a neighbour meddling -
pulling away the beast ripping her to shreds
Saying to him, “You won kill am? Na your wife, oga leave am“
I imagine him deafened to their plea,
Taken to his charge with more vile like a professional boxer yearning for
promotion
Planting blows, not love on his wife,
pulling her soul down to its nadir
Squeezing her life by the scruff of the neck, relentlessly
Not pausing for breath, barring every thought of his vows to her
that tries to pry
Clenching his heart in a fist-like manner to absorb every yelp
that wafted through the neighborhood
Until she lay still before him, lifeless
Killed by the man that once promised the love he
now dished out in blows like souvenirs
I tried to picture her last moments
How she fell under the weight of her husbands ire
How she most have basked under the smokescreen of endurance
When in truth, she lay under the cosh
How she absorbed giant pills, bigger than her gullet
Like Adichie's Sister Beatrice
How she fell to the ground, back first
With a tear to go with
I pictured her breath stealthily seeping off
like air escaping a balloon
I imagined the fall, with her head lounged on the floor
Entombed in a blood-like map forming a puddle
And she lying underneath her failed marriage
Dead even before death made a move
With her body stiffened,
a vessel now inhabited with nothing but lifelessness
I could hear the wailing sirens, defying the night
Calling neighbours subsumed and perhaps dead in their sleep
People that somehow had for themselves a palatable breakfast of
'The man wey kill e wife'
People that were no strangers to the onslaught
They would welcome the stench of a dead rat and even call it French perfume
And now I hear them wail but I'm not sure why
Maybe they do so for fear of walking the same path,
fear for their children or perhaps the slain soul of the fallen


Tchuks Uba

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