Dar(l)ing Noroh,

It’s been eons my phone giggled to your fond calls, and for countless nights, I’ve hushed to WhatsApp, to binge on your soothing words only to get my eyes wet again when your D.P. reminded me of wilted wreaths and faded epitaphs.

In the darkness of my room, browsing your laptop, I had to pause on this photograph: in theatre wears, holding scalpel as if you were cutting into the future we’ve always imagined together.

Morbid moans gargled my throat, my mind, a mournful mine, mulled over many things. Things that cannot pull appropriate adjectives from the numbed lip of this pen. Many things; taunting, haunting me into the only thing left of us: memories.

Once, before you finally left, I asked father why you were always leaving. He sighed and said “Son, she needs to go to become for us.” I nodded like I understood him, like I wasn’t pained every time you shared brisk moments at home only to keep returning to medical school.

At the morning devotion today, father harped on your name when he wanted me to say the prayer, and mother broke into smithereens of sighs, slicing me like onions into the hot oil till I fried in her tears.

This night, my heart marveled at your selflessness again. They said you collapsed at the blood bank after you made them rip your vein for those dying victims. Doctors said it was because your heart was fragile. I knew, beyond your Anatomy textbook gathering cobwebs here, tender kindness must reside in fragile things.

I’ll keep piling these letters, these nightly writhing, as wreaths. How does the heart unlearns the science of beating when it has a body to nourish, how do I forget your memories when they’re all to me? How, dar(l)ing Noroh?

A sprouting physician and writer, Adesina Ajala, aspires to grow roots in the loam of words and the stethoscope and scalpel. His works have appeared in Writers Space Africa, Parousia, Featiler Rays, Libretto Magazine, Brave Voices Poetry Journal and elsewhere. He was the co-winner of the first place of 2018 TSWF Writers Prize. He is on Instagram as and tweets @adesina_ajala.

Photo Credit: Jasmine Carter/Pexel.com