Hussain Ahmed

Nature and Chemistry of Love Potion

blue butterflies trick ants into picking up their eggs
because it mimicked the face of the evening sky.

for the first time, father was not home
and won’t be coming back anytime soon.

I was a boy of seven and there is a storm brewing in me
but everyone feels it’s the hunger

& the imam said I host jinn in my empty stomach.
and then I began to see myself differently,

as though in me are layers of makeshift restaurants
held together with the veins of dead soldiers.

until I could perfect the dilution ratio of her tears/
to pheromone, no one is moving out of this house.

all the tables are made of a convex mirror.
there is no need to run when it rains, the ice on the roofs

are the signs of a climate that has tried so much to resist change.
I was afraid the world would end/ a day after the blood moon,

I thought anywhere beyond the kitchen window/ is an empty space
to bury the men I love, so their memories can dangle from the tree
when the wind blows.

Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer and environmentalist. His poems are featured or forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Cincinnati Review, Magma, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook was a semifinalist for the 2018 Black River contest.