Consider this: at my grandmother’s funeral, we heard the news that my aunt slipped & had broken her skull. She bled to death.
Death is turning here. The summer Olamide released Abule Sowo, two birds sat by my window, using their beaks to soothe each other’s distresses. I wonder who would love me that much to bite deep into my veins.
I remember this because, those nights, your ghost walked through the wall smiling as if the sun was giant in your mouth. Is this what you do to the boy you once loved? Stay till you are tired of raging? Rage till you are winding a song out of his dry throat? I dreamt that you pressed me into my bed
& I could not shout. What is yours is yours, even your grandmother in the cruelty of her ghost, turning a silent evening into a memorial. You dream that this time, you take flowers to her grave. Three weeks
after we turned her body towards the everlasting, danced her into the ever- greens, someone’s father died of arteriosclerosis. What is this loss if it is not
heaviness sheltered by absence? Your picture trembles as the thunder claps & the candle flames into secrets as darkness begins to haunt the room. I’ve only known how to live inside myself. Where do I turn now that you sink your teeth of fear deep into my veins?
Adedayo Agarau’s chapbook, Origin of Names, was selected by Chris Abani and Kwame Dawes for New Generation African Poet (African Poetry Book Fund), 2020. He is the author of The Arrival of Rain. Adedayo is an Editor at IceFloe, Assistant Editor at Animal Heart Press, a Contributing Editor for Poetry at Barren Magazine. His works have appeared on Agbowo, Glass Poetry, Mineral Lit, Ghost City, Temz, Linden Avenue, The Shore Poetry, Giallo, and elsewhere. Adedayo curated and edited an anthology of Nigerian poets, Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry. You can find him on Twitter @adedayo_agarau or agarauadedayo.com.