A black swallow stains the grey-blue sky,
Orange dragonflies’ tumble in the air,
Three fluorescent lizards fly past
disappear into the future.
Two brown boys in a corner
Prod a brown bird’s corpse.
Over their head, a brown roach,
slithers into a crack in the wall.
Before we see the paper guns.
Before bullets ring through the air.
Before some-body falls.
The cloud shifts and lays its golden egg,
shadows return and lie at the foot of the trees.
The air over Naraguta is saturated
with a mother calling some-body out of its death
What was lost finds its home
No one calls the brown bird, no one asks
whose nest is empty tonight.
1. A fistful of time
I imagine Eve licked the fruit clean off its peel
and Adam’s first taste was her after taste
and Adam’s sin was willing his tongue to remember.
I rummage through our room, hands desperate for memory
Each finger, a friend,
each one smudged with
the betrayals I am losing count of
2. A disease running its course
Everything you touched grew a wound,
I try your clothes, your lipstick
call your shoes mine
but these things are no one’s.
Raindrops slide across the window
the empty yard stands like a screen
playing a silent movie.
You sit there,
writing to me from the other side,
telling me everything
that’s led to this.
3. An end or conclusion
We all leave something behind.
A dead part of ourselves
hunting for the body
it used to fill.
I rummage through our room.
Everything I touch becomes a wound.
Each finger, a lover,
another one smudged with
The betrayals I am losing count of.
Daisy Odey is a Nigerian poet. She is the author of the chapbook Fragments in a Closet which was published in the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) New generation African Poets chapbook box set (2019) edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Ake Review (3rd edition), Saraba (Issue 22), Enkare Review, and others. She has performed her poetry in various festivals across Nigeria including Kaduna state Book and Arts Festival (2019), Abuja Literary Festival (2019), Benue book and art festival (2019), and others.
*Image by Egor Kunovsky on Unsplash