the first time i set my feet on this road//my tongue lost the language of home//this is where it begins, mother says//where you find a home to identify your body with//somewhere in the chest of this park is a bus full of nostalgia & prayers//bodies break into a babel of monologues//each note rhymes with the swinging of arms calling to mini-malls mounted on trays//everything about this trip is my mother//every move – the pace of an adult stride//equally feeding her strength to the sounds of time//so i drifted into the Lord’s presence//honks of amen snap my body back into itself//i can feel the wheels beneath, drinking themselves into potholes//then chuckle to hereafter//cool breeze fills my bones with soft music//phonemes squatting on air settle above my head & take the shape of fingers flipping through pages of memories//the sun will bear me witness//how seated bodies – an outline of L – set the outside world in motion//the quicking of tall trees//faces on screens pathing into clouds//& the dragging surface of black waters, too//each figure – sharp & fast//then disappears like vowels on my lips//whenever i try to sing//my mouth cuts into a depressed O & spills sorrow on a boy tearing at the edge of his mother’s dress//on his face is home//with brows thick enough to shield myself against the storm to come//who do i tell home is the face of a boy//on this road//where things lost are pledged to the hands of death.
Olaitan Junaid is a reader, writer, & sometimes, editor. He studies English Language & Literature at the Obafemi Awolowo University. His works have appeared or are forthcoming on PIN Anthology, Ngiga Review, & else where. He lives in the south-western Nigeria, where he writes from.