Litro #162: Literary Highlife | The Dark Haunts Nigeria

Litro #162: Literary Highlife | The Dark Haunts Nigeria

And God said, “Let there be light”
and a politician plagiarised the phrase until
he was crowned saviour.

Time passed yet every light bulb is
naked glass. We scream NEPA has taken
and our faces go dim as a blown bulb.

And God said, “Let there be light”
and the government gulped the money
meant for reviving electricity. Greed is the
hunger that leads a man to see starving
bodies as thin plates.

Everything my family owns that
relies on electricity withers like flowers
drained of sunlight.

And God said, “Let there be light”
and NEPA company promised to obey, but
just before electricity touched our bulbs
protestors used cables to whip dark lines
into their skin so NEPA do not forget the
dark they put us through.

However, a child who remains bitter
at their country will inherit a curse for their
generation. Now my country is haunted,
using candles, lanterns and generators to
chase away a darkness that sticks like a
serpent’s teeth to skin.

And God said, “Let there be light”
but lack of electricity is now a booming
business so generator sellers beg him to stay
quiet. One says God thank you for financial
blessing in a time of poverty.

And God said “Let there be light”
and I am still holding on to the hope of an
eternal source, but NEPA keeps cutting into
my prayers.

Do not blame us for filling out
churches, we are praying against the things
the dark attracts.

Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian Poet. She was short- listed for the 2016 Bridport Poetry Prize, 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize and was highly commended for the Charles Causley Poetry Prize. She is a Barbican Young Poet alumnus from the 2015/2016 programme.

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