The Greatest Country in the World, by Rafiat Lamidi

Here we are in the middle of a country of bones
It’s midnight and there’s moonlight streaming through the window
The light falls into my palm and I put it in my mouth
I pray that the night does not leave me behind
I pray for the abundance of sight
Tell me how to make a person
Tell me how a person begins to fulfill their name
Tell me how to build a country out of stone
The greatest country in the world is made of muscle
The meat stretches in abundance from the head and tapers downwards
The meat tightens and threatens to snap
Here we are, a country of dreams, silently polishing our bones
Tell me about your dreams
How does a person carry their future solemnly in their body, yet nothing falls out when they hit the ground?
Tell me about your country
Aren’t we all supposed to be patriots?
Purveyors of one common dream
Didn’t you also wish to save the world?
To let the light pass through you before it reaches the sun?
Here we are in my country of stone
Here the world is clad in a shade of green
Here you learn to lower your cries and your laughter
Here invisibility is a common cloak
No one looks at you and you do not look at anyone unless to say you are fine
Here you learn how to keep your bones to yourself
Here you learn that no one tells the truth until it bursts out of them
The night is always leaving us behind
There is a woman next door singing blessings into her newborn child
Yesterday, I too was a quiet child filled with quivering hope

Rafiat Lamidi is a lover of art, a poet and photographer who resides in Nigeria. Her works have been published in Lolwe, Isele Magazine, Olney Magazine, Lucent Dreaming, Acropolis, The Blood Beats Series, and elsewhere. Her short story was shortlisted for Awele Creative Writing Trust. Her twitter is @rauvsbunny.

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