Hussain Ahmed



believe me, a man lives twice at the same time.

the position of the moon would convince you

if you don’t sleep at night, often with hope to wake

with dandelions growing behind your ears.

believe me when I say we are all born conjoined

somewhere in between, both worlds trying to

pull off each other. water surrounds the world, and

shadows of our missing girls surrounds the water.

this you cannot read in the craziest of Einstein’s diary.

I am the only madman that survived the centuries

when all seemed to be mad, for we saw both worlds

at a glance. this world was mad at its own madness.

apples fell from the trees, which was no sin

because we did not pluck them. still, we thought God

would let us back into Eden. we would name all

the flowers and its fruits the first ten minutes

if we had another chance. I once lived in both worlds

together. I knew someday, people would lose one of the

worlds overnight in search of a cat. I knew men would

build hotels that rivaled the sky. believe me,

with both eyes open, both worlds stare back at me.


Wi-Fi in Orphanage

For all the children butchered by abandonment
make them somnambulists in heatless nights

—Phillip B. Williams

it was an affair of owning without shame

I share a heart with my siblings

that looks like me

only when they wear my clothes

how small is love before it becomes indivisible

the position of the sun dictates how tall shadows grow

the phone rings every night as would a lonely heart

it could be my mother calling to ask if I had died in sleep

it could be her, asking if I am grown enough to wear bras

I lay back my head on the pillow, as the matron’s steps recede

my shadow becomes taller on the wall, if the moon also choses betrayal

I fear I might drift away to the space meant for stars.


Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer and environmentalist. His poems are featured or forthcoming in Puerto del Sol, Prairie Schooner, Nashville Review, Hobart, Vinyl, Cherry Tree and elsewhere.

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