Friday Afternoon with Boko Haram

Eliza Griswold

I spent the Hezbollah war in Nigeria eating hummus in a Syrian cafe and watching rockets. Nights alone in a Kano hotel, I saw a girl grow famous on TV. I almost died in the north, you know. No you don’t. No one does but the photographer who crouched shotgun and begged the mob with hammered swords for his camera and passport. Its folio of spent pages, like the ordered laws of nations, was as irrelevant as our heads would be once cleaved from our pleading bodies. We’d be flung between them until someone got bored and tossed us into the soaked dirt. The young blonde now hosts a special on what to do in Dubai; that obscene indoor ski slope, jeeps that bounce like jelly donuts over dunes lit to look friendly. There must be so many of us, spies who are really academics, checking into obscure hotels, ordering contraband beer. Hating ourselves, we pick at what swells until the larvae embedded in our backs hatch through the skin, and moths escape like subcutaneous angels.

Base Life