to my friend dead

Adenike Akande

Of all the bodies to be put out of motion, it should not have been
wire-beanstalk traipsing thoughts like giants descending
earth to confound it – me.
Otherwise I would scale your form into your house finding
precious and tacky things made precious because
you have held them in your hand.
Hair like soldier ants climbing over each other
and running up yourheadyourlipyourchin,
down your chest, into your trousers, declaring your
porcelain legs had carried over teenage years.

When I hear the word disease, I think of you counting days
with 10 fingers only, annexing toes was hope which
was a dangerous thing for a man like you to have* and
for people like us to have after we saw the hand that found us wanting.

End of days expended on a house cursed to stand barren,
except he builds a house, they build in vain who labour over it?
Me, and you – a million people, picture of one,
we built a house and we built it in vain, so,
I cradle loss in my mouth like teeth as you lie fixed
in the earth snug, a tongue.
I gather the scraps of paper on which you imprinted our crossed destinies –
ephemeral monument paper is,
sturdy muniment if the blight is the memories that leak themselves out of my eyes.
A shame water has no patience for the weakness of paper.


*a paraphrase of the title of Lana Del Rey’s song “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it”.

Adenike Akande is a Law student, a Nigerian, living in Lagos. She is interested in literature, philosophy, and religion.


*Image by Armando Tovaar on Unsplash

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