For my homeland, civilization meant a thousand battleships
& countless war bots, shooting randomly at my brothers.

It meant an erasure of our past & history,
Our chiefs slaughtered & left for the vultures—they were replaced
by emotionless overlords made of plated chrome. Our origin
has been forgotten.

Civilization meant a microchip embedded in our brains—to control,
suppress, track, terminate. We became puppets on strings
pulled by crazed robots.

For my homeland, civilization meant we surrendered our lives
& all the things we never had, to the overlords. Even our lives
don’t belong to us anymore—

We are civilized now & have become familiar with depression.

—Oluwatomiwa Ajeigbe