my father knows these men. I know them too,
history tucks their portraits into my memory.
perhaps forgetfulness is a curse my countrymen tries to break.
election’s procedures unfurled
and they would commit their heart to men who more
than once battered it till it became hackneyed threnody.
i saw these grizzled men on television,
men, who my grandfather called beast in agbada.
they read their colored manifestos before men
who later committed their future to charlatans
with a messianic tongue.
men who saw the claws in their tongues
were silenced with a wad of notes.
yesterday, dele’s body was forced to rehearse
the gymnastics of fire when he stole a cup of garri at the market;
hunger sticks to our body like identity.
i can’t ask anyone how (s)he is doing
it gropes wounds.
no one is doing well, not even the well diggers.
my eldest brother was caught under
the cashew tree with a sturdy rope
sobbing and saying, death is the messiah.
this is what happens when your cv
becomes an acronym for clogged vision.
i fear this poem will not be an apocalypse.
i fear my people will choose these same men again.
this room is still grimy
memories huddled together in this room wear a body of ocean,
they refused to be conflagrated.
don’t ask me of my therapy sessions
because they only say i am opening my body for cleansing,
this room is still grimy, nowhere is left untouched.
what are even the therapies if not an apocalypse
that i am a slave to some memories?
memories like how you tottered into this room,
plundered its pearls and took possession;
this room doesn’t belong to me anymore.
it smells of incense, i bet a funeral service goes on here.
how do you fight violation when erupted by a man
whose blood shares some resemblance with yours?
mother once told me to hold the family’s glory
in a clenched fist even though it breaks my body,
this taboo is snared inside my mouth,
it’s snared in this poem too.
it’s two years of your plunder,
and i still see your face spread across my lover’s
each time he immerses himself into me.
i don’t enjoy this ritual, your footprints are etched on it.
i don’t know when this ocean will morph into something inflammable
or when it will become dry like a river that lost its origin.
i am fading. i have faded. but i will own this room again.
a woman’s body is her room,
you knock and seek permission before you enter
a woman’s revealing cloth isn’t an excuse to be a burglar.
you leave a ghost on the street each time you plunder.
About The Author
Ifenaike IfeAyomipo is a Nigerian writer who writes from Lagos State, although hails from Ogun State. He’s an aspiring Photographer. He’s a promising Educationist too with robust dreams. When he’s not writing, he’s busy streaming YouTube Spoken Words Videos.
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Issue 5 is LIVE! Guest editors: @malingose, @WillieKinardIII & @postcolonialchi. Cover: Alex & Frans Odicky. Illustrations: @cocoette_. Stories, poems, essays & photos from Kenya, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Ghana, Sudan, St. Lucia, Zimbabwe, & more
my poem "A Travelogue: The Grief & Ruins Outside our Walls" is now published on Eboquills. @eboquills
click link to read full poem 🖤🥂https://eboquills.com/2022/05/20/one-poem-by-olowo-qudus/
Check out this list of #opportunities for #writers (see link). The #deadlines are in May 2022, so roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Best wishes! https://eboquills.com/2022/05/07/opportunities-for-writers-with-deadline-in-may-2022/