Hussain Ahmed



Ice Cream and Blood

                            – For Baghdad

Chromatography was our best chance, to separate blood from

the ice cream. I see there’s little oil in the world

to make this love go round, without the screeching voices,

without the cries of a woman, widowed before her wedding night.

Tonight, I search through the piles of

dark spots in my heart, where I expect someone

to stand, hands behind his head, waiting to be named,

waiting to take the blames for the fire.

The man who sets his garden on fire, started this war

smoke from the weed, got his neighbors        intoxicated.

The cattle herders would not take the blame

for grazing my father’s farm,

they believed that God created           all greens

to end up in the cattle’s           bowel,

they wouldn’t understand why my father

chooses to be a philosopher.

The fishermen are to blame for this up rise    in the

sea level, the fishes are replaced with plastic bags.

Forgive my mother’s father, for he wrote in his will

how he fought weak erection, by sniffing the powder

made of a rhino’s horn. My mother is to blame

for reading the will aloud, in the presence of her       horny brothers.

The poets are to blame for this war, they are never tired of

praising men who martyred    while singing of how soon the heavens

will be filled with the smell of smoke,           with orphaned boys

that do not know, that their fathers cannot recite the Qur’an.

Blame the men who sighted the new moon,

blame the moon for its luck, blame the sky for granting it    asylum.

Blame the White House, blame Saddam Hussein, blame Hiroshima

Blame Saudi Arabia, blame my father, blame the vanilla ice cream.

how else do you slow down a racing heart, after a long day              of fasting?


Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer and environmentalist. His poems are featured or forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Rise Up Review, Vinyl Poetry, Puerto del Sol, Yemassee and elsewhere.

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