Cover Photo: Illustration by Ellen Weinstein for Catapult
Illustration by Ellen Weinstein for Catapult

Sky Held Up by a Thousand Minarets

On this train ride back to his beginnings, Shettima’s mind overtook the train to another river in his memory, a river long and meandering as his days.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhir raj’un: From Allah we come and to him we shall return

danshikiArewa

jilbab

hajjAlhaji

insha AllahWhat Ado did not have to say was the other reason he was calling: It was time now for Shettima to come home.

Iddah

Hadejia

Wallahi!

Jollof

Gwobe de nisa

Gaishe ka,insha Allah

Arewa

Alhaji

fadamaSarkiMadawaki

The lights in Tofa flickered and went out. It had stopped raining. It crept into Shettima’s mind now how quiet it was and how dark, how cold he was and how strange it was that he’d been walking in water up to his knees. The cow mooed again, and Shettima placed it, to his left, a white mass against the dark, keeping pace with him. He stopped and turned; the cow stopped, too. They regarded each other.

Kenechi Uzor was born in Nigeria. His writing has been included in anthologies and has  appeared in Electric Literature, The Millions, Catapult, Litro Magazine, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Blue Monday Review, Brittle Paper, Afridiaspora, and a few others. He has worked as an editor, a journalist, a librarian, and a publisher. He is a 2020 Tin House Scholar and has received residency and fellowship awards from Ebedi International Residency and the Dee Artists’ Colony.  Kenechi Uzor teaches writing at the University of Utah where he is rounding up an MFA degree in creative writing.