KR OnlinePoetry

A House That Does Bad Things to Me

The universe grinds my body into a white horse,
mushrooms down my throat, hands
heavy on the door, through which
same world came to be. I am inside
the fire, big as floodwater,

clinging to every part of my bones,
memories set my hair ablaze,
it’s Eid, let’s sacrifice
this girl’s neck, the ram
that loses blood to a thirsty government.

The world does bad things to me, a girl—
my body, a bloody terrorist, ravaged
by gun-heads and godheads.
I feel the unending opinions of a ghost, I am
going to write about my mouth,

the great sorrow it speaks
in the name of prayers all over, my blood
is a homage to Allah, the soldiers
who broke the door, dumped pieces of themselves
inside a womb, hospital submerged

in the water of negligence,
what do you want to remember?
What about the house where you stripped
me of dignity, a world
that does bad things to me.

Saddiq Dzukogi
Saddiq Dzukogi is the author of Inside the Flower Room, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New-Generation African Poets Chapbook Series (forthcoming in 2018). He was on the 2017 Brunel International African Poetry Prize shortlist. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, New Orleans Review, South Dakota Review, Crab Orchard Review, Prairie Schooner, Best American Experimental Writing anthology, and Verse Daily.