Lately, the chickens hang upside-down
clucking into a suffocating wind.
Cattle mutiny on the bridges.
Rams roll through town, bound at hoof and horn like
Wild dogs run backwards through the streets, chasing little boys, tails first.
Curtains of dust hang heavy, draping leaves
and eyelids and
veiling moon from sun.
Heads sit low under trees swollen with ripe fruit.
They swarmed like bees–have you seen bees swarm
on honeycomb? They swarmed– ripping down the side of the road.
Pressing forward, closer, filling every gap with fingers
and eyes: tonight, they burned a thief.
Photo of Bamako’s 3rd bridge over the Niger River, at dusk.