Skins, by Ross Turner

A girl screams and thrashes
as armed men drag her
between rust coloured houses.
Opposite, a café with seats for seven
and a nightclub with room for seventy
are empty, separated by hanging zebra skins.
In front of one, a knife commands
an old man to keep whittling –
carve out a giraffe’s head and neck.
Fish hang reeking from a stall
outside the other, watching wide-eyed.

I look at Ali.
He glances at me and spits,
I hope they beat her.