We hadn’t spoken in more two weeks, it worried me slightly because while we had intervals when we wouldn’t speak, this one seemed colder than all the previous gaps. We often spoke for hours, about nothing, about everything, about God and antimatter and all the things between heaven and earth. But we could not speak of Aretha Franklin.
My neighbour’s girlfriend is pounding yam again, the echo of the thud of the pestle on the yam slices against the mortar seeps through the concrete decking into my room, the vibrations make my windows rattle. She pounds every day, rattling my window in the mid-morning when I try to catch the second wave of sleep after losing the first round in the hours after I return from my night shift at the factory. Her pounding always delays that second round of sleep but I smile when it starts, it means I would eat baby-face smooth pounded yam in a few hours.
A skit by That Warri Girl on Instagram reminded me of two people I once knew, well it was the song on the skit that took me down memory lane. It was Tender Heart by Lionel Richie.
Lekan was dead.
There was no doubt in my mind that he was in a mortuary or his body was floating in some river or slowly rotting in the boot of an abandoned car, the possibilities of his location were endless. I had forgotten how to do probabilities and permutations, they were part of my favourite things to do at secondary school maths, along with longitude and latitude calculations. I liked Maths in secondary school and would spend hours poring over the topics. Anything that wasn’t surd and matrix. Continue reading →
I like the wiggle of you under my skin, carving your space in the swirl of cells and blood and bone and white, cold hunks of fat. I like to think I too have a space just inside the dermis, atop the blood pump in the third to sixth intercostal spaces, above the thrusts and rhythms of the life you’ve made for me.
I bury another Never
Watching it slink into the soil
As I cover it with the sand under the shadow of your face.
I look at the ruins of my fences and defences,
Strong and defiant a week ago,
Crumbled in the earth after you strode in,
Arms akimbo, pockets brimming with keys to secrets,
The secrets I didn’t even know I held. Continue reading →
Husband Wanted, Apply Within
He winced at the sign at the gate, it seemed pedestrian and even inconsistent with the slice of genius that led him here, never mind that he had never seen a husband wanted sign in his 33 years of gulping oxygen. He looked at the tiny scrap of newsprint folded in his palm, unfurled it to look at the requirements again. Continue reading →