The asphalt aisle
is overlooked by tired-looking second-hand generators at opposing ends,
like guerrilla vultures.
At this side of Ìbàdàn
I hear the fatigued conductor call,
The first syllable seems to grow old and
decay in sight of the intervening consonant.
I enter the albescent-coloured bus,
engine heat and dusty seats
welcome me with a bearhug.
But I don’t know why I’m the only life here:
old bones, wrinkled smiles and poverty-stricken-scrunched flesh follow me
who’d travel this long, very long journey.
Chidiebube onye Okohia is a Nigerian creative and author of the chapbook Of Dark Tides and Darkling Times. This piece is a personal experience of the uncertainty and uneasiness he had while he was about to embark on an approximately four-hour long intrastate journey, during the early weeks of his NYSC year in Nigeria. Some of his works have appeared in Counterclock, fresh.ink, The Daily Drunk, The Shallow Tales Review, and elsewhere. He tweets at @o_okohia