Memory of the Aleppo Boy by Saddiq Dzukogi

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

returned along Kinkino Road, when I
saw water crawl under a small

bridge, a colourless python
moving through a cornfield

I saw the boy's face, transparent
as what passes for real

laid in a yellow chair
like a body
arrived at the smallness of a buttonhole

eyes speak of the chaos

they've been soaked in
he remembers the sound of the bullet

putting a hole in his father's chest
precisely the size a ghost

requires to leave a body
if not for war, the boy would be home now

playing with his sister's doll,
instead I am watching him

on the nightime news
rising out of the rubble of a city
stitching itself into silence


Photo of Saddiq Dzukogi

Photo of Saddiq Dzukogi

Saddiq Dzukogi’s poems are featured or forthcoming in African American Review, The Lampeter Review, Juked, Chiron Review, Vinyl Poetry, The Volta, Construction, Welter and elsewhere. He is the author of Sunbeams & Shadows (Origami, Imprint of Parresia Publishers, 2014) and Canvas (Kraft Books, 2011). Saddiq is the Poetry Editor of the online journal, Expound and a three-time finalist in The Association of Nigerian Author’s Poetry Prize.