Tread carefully.
Keep your wits about you; you’ll need them,
this city you’re crossing into its territory
sun-bleached billboards announce –
is a pocket-sized yet vast and intricate
it will gulp you whole and spit you out.

Though you may not have the foggiest idea about
its landmarks; like you do the palms of your hands
or you may have visited a thousand times
its streets – grimy n’ tattered; signs out-of-date;
its alleys – dotted with hotels
(or what could be rightly called brothels).

“Getting Religion” by Archibald Motley Jr.

This city is forever and always home; it does flatter,
welcoming you as a friend, treating you as if you belong(ed);
telling you to stop running as if you’re chasing a ghost.
Truly: you’re an alien from another place and time.
This is O-Town: swaggers call it – The Heartland of the East.

Make yourself at home, Fun Seeker.
Now that you’re here, offload your suitcase of cash;
swallow a curtail of blue pills n’ sniff some powder
depending on how far off the edge you have turned. Enjoy your weekend;
it may not cure your libido, but it will earn you staying power.
You’ll need it for her good country girls – they’ll guide your horse,
This is O-Town: swaggers call it Owerri.

© Ugo Nkwoala | | 2021

Photo credit: “Gettin’ Religion” by Archibald Motley Jr.

Featured image: Abstract Art “In A Northern Town” by Linda Woods

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