One in Loss
& i do not want to admit my body is a victim,
that a broken boy habits its walls like pain.
there are many tales buried in a dead room,
like the fallen leaves at the corridor of my voice,
they got there through openings grief left uncovered
in every sad memories of sunshine & rain over my head,
through the leaking roof in my father’s house,
& there are no mouths to suck grief from bones.
i do not want to admit my body is emptied
of night cities with streetlights,
that every dawn teases my skin with fire.
I’m always fighting for spaces in the moon
with my arms & broad shoulder,
a boy must fight to keep his sanity,
fight to silent the wounds threatening his boyhood.
we’ve been drowning before water found her rage,
it’s a path we all pass through to tame the tides.
a boy is stalking healing in a broken glass,
his father is trapped in his tears,
in the teeth of his mirror.
i embrace him, place his body adjacent my voids,
he’s not alone, we are one in loss.
our wounds don’t heal, they only stop bleeding.
On Departure, Void & a Body on Exile
eventually, the chirps of evening birds
would not mean the return
of a body on exile or of a voice
to the void of an empty street.
the monologue of the wind
would tell of god in a coffin,
of flowers growing in weird places
like the hollows of trees
with shades the weight of departure.
a boy would reek of his father’s absence,
in his head are memories on fire,
in his eyes are night skies stripped of stars
& there are no rivers to submerge broken memories,
no chains to keep darkness bound,
no hand to grab souls leaving in drops.
a wayfarer would thought of home
& grow weary from running,
that is to say his run is done,
that is to say home do not gravitate
towards a man faring on a thirsty road,
that is to say noises have no potential
to keep a dying man awake.
i tell you this because my body is a castle
of dusty names & grey memoirs,
because my mother is at the edge
of a sea that never leads to shore
& my father’s faith is a firefly
on life support with grown beards
waiting on this queue of silence
for a lightning of her voice,
because when the end is at the door
doorways become road maps to dust,
to the beginning & to the vainness
of this sweet sourness called life.
Olabisi Abiodun Akinwale is a Nigerian poet and writer, an explorer of darkness, silence and beauty. Winner of the Luma Art Poetry Contest 2018, SRAF Award, Federal University Lafia Best student poet of the year 2017 among others, his works have been published in Tuck magazine, Expresslt, DWARTS, Festival for Poetry among others. He lives and writes from Katsina, a small town somewhere in Northern Nigeria.