The Litany of Seven

by Jekwu Anyaegbuna

I SLAUGHTER 7 mosquitoes every night
and eat 7 corns per night
with 7 damaged, trembling teeth.
I lost 7 teeth 7 years ago
during a 7-night kissing competition
with 7 ladies, each flirting with
7 men; I had 14 teeth from childhood —
7 up, 7 down — because my milk
teeth collapsed and never grew to 32 anymore.
I sleep on 7 different beds every night
and dream 7 different dreams per night about
7 times 7 mosquitoes perching on
7 times 7 corns, kissing and sucking
corn blood, singing non-medical hymns of
diseases beside my ears. I urinate 7 times per night
inside 7 plastic buckets, gulp down 7 tablets
of please-no-bedwetting drugs, recommended by
7 doctors and purchased from 7 pharmacies.
I paid in 7 installments, collected 7 receipts
Yet my bed still complains every 7 a.m. of serious
night rain drenching its mattress from my bladder.
I am the 7th tree from a family of 7 sages,
born from the 7th pregnancy of the 7th wife
of the 7th king of a 7-village village,
I wear 7 T-shirts with a bold inscription of 7.
I attended 7 primary schools, failed 7 common
entrance examinations, wrote 7 papers in 7 O’Level
examinations conducted by 7 principals with 7
degrees from 7 universities, the principals expecting
their retirements and gratuities at 77.

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