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The Sound of Hunger

Volume 13, Issue 2  | 
Published 30/11/2016
  |

A bed creaks

Again

All night

Still at it?

A groan and a moan

A grunt

More creaking…

In the early hours of morning

A door creaks open

From under a roofless roof

A figure emerges…

Alone

 

Thin and tattered

Seemingly lost

It pauses…

And then proceeds on

 

A mask of a face

Of sightless, hollow eyeballs

And sticking jaws

Cramped firmly together

Now begin to chew

What could well be yesterday’s curd 

In renewed anticipation

 

Over a shirtless garment

Ribs protrude

Fleshless under the day’s curious

Gaze

 

 

As I study him

Reality dawn’s on me

Awake from the night’s dreams

I realise

The sounds I heard yesternight

All night

Were not the testy grunts of love-

Making

But the involuntary moans of a

Hungry stomach

 

The groans of hollow bones

The creaking of a cold stiff body

Devoid of all warmth and comfort

It was the scratching of nails on a dry

Skin

Itching from the chorus of stinging

bedbugs 

sucking the life out of him

 

the nightlong screeching of crickets

and croaking toads

faithful companions in his sleepless

nights

the rustle of cockroach fangs

nimbling his weary toes

the ceaseless buzzing of mosquito

armies raiding his body

 

It was the churning of a desperate

Mind

Kept awake by the thought of

Food

 

Now he roams aimlessly

In this meaningless world

Searching

In yet another hopeless day

Destined to yet another

Helpless night

Whose only certainty is being

Cold, lonely and hungry.

 

by Hajaambi Kang’ara