The Asr call to prayer sounds through while you and I
hotbox in your Honda Accord.
One of us, again, starts the pussytalk–how we love it,
when we learned to, recalling the nights we lay sleepless from

fear of it. Wouldn’t granny call it Shaitan’s steady progress?

How easily now we make ourselves from sin?


Cousin, let’s not run away from fighting


the virtue we were given. Though I did bet, at first,

on our certain dismissal from the property line:

should we ever be cast forever to the desert, recalling

our folk lasting warnings (Imagine your solitude;

          one child can kill its entire lineage,

             So search for Allah’s grace.)

together we can set our lips into a line, make pill the ill-will,

wash it down with shawarma and Radiohead.


Cousin, let’s not run away. From fighting


Harmattan’s dry ablution, its red earth biting

our eyes. Swipe at my ears with hands and mouth, taking it.

Repeat after me: cousin, we’ve been traumatized

yet still know how to love. So yes, we have won,

made the future have something to do with us, our

daring to sleep sound through the oblige of ancestry.


Cousin, let’s not. Run away from fighting.


For Ameena.


Chekwube O. Danladi is the 2018-19 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. They are currently at work on a novel about queers living in Abuja, Nigeria.