BRIDGES AND MEMORIES OF LAGOS

There is this spot on a bridge in Lagos

That taught me to look away, to ignore

To act like bad things don’t happen.

It is the place where I take a moment to reflect on humanity with its divisions

Where there are those who shed themselves without care on the environment

And there are others who carefully shield themselves from such sore sightings.

 

There is this spot on a bridge in Lagos

Where I saw a full grown man with his pants pulled down

Hang his bottom over the banister, poised to defecate.

I, twitching in the passenger seat, pointing him out to the driver,

The driver oblivious to both the man and my outstretched arm

Continues a conversation and driving.

 

There is the spot on a bridge in Lagos

Where I know a full grown man once stooped to defecate.

The second time I pass by, I see the man do it. Again.

Surely, he must be mad I say, until I see.

A second man hang his bottom over the banister, poised to defecate.

This time I look away in disbelief and point it out to nobody.

 

There is this spot on a bridge in Lagos

Where I know it is a practice in broad daylight for full grown men to defecate.

I hate that I know it and I am disgusted that no one does anything about it

Still, I wonder if these men do not feel any shame

As they flash their naked bottoms everyday

To drivers, passengers, and passers-by in traffic on the bridge.

 

There is this spot on a bridge in Lagos

That I can only tell stories about now.

For the men are gone and their products all washed away

They have been replaced by greenery and flowers,

Love and attention showered onto the natural space

Stimulating scents purify the surroundings.

 

There was this spot on a bridge in Lagos

Where I don’t remember anymore…

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