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 criminals.
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 ripe with 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 in every gap with fingers and eyes:
tonight, they burned a thief.
Photo of Bamako’s 3rd bridge over the Niger River, at dusk.