By Omidire Joshua
make your way to
Lekki Tollgate. placards in hand, songs on tongue.
when you see the hoodlums in uniform, don’t run.
ask them questions about the demise of your father
in the grave of poverty.
better still, send a letter bomb to their lords
ask them how you, a butcher’s son, feed on bones.
a. Lekki is the nexus between blood and water. the estuary of breath and silence.
the inexorable wheel of history wheeling on the oil of deep youthful hunger for depth and meaning
for a change in a country where stasis and regression take turns to lay siege to lights yet not lit and the lamps struggling for breath on the river of dusk
b. an owl perched on the stubborn ear of the bridge, clicked its eyes at eggs fated to be pelted with pellets. it’d wait till our blood becomes news; something to carry home to vulture.
c. even when they strip you naked and stack you in a black maria, smile.
d. if they cock their guns, don’t budge. breathe and be happy. bullet too is an expression of love. wouldn’t you rather die a lover?
e. even a fall is a love language. speak it. fall a thousand times. until you fall no more.
f. your root should say unto their branch, let there be fruit.
g. a mother spiced her children. served them in daring dishes to her faithless Gods
who knew nothing but hopeless sacrifices whose smoke stinks like a dead fly trapped
in a vial of oil.
h. mother’s Gods forked hearts, livers, noses, cheeks, eyes
and raised it all to deity of tongue where taste bud connived
with saliva, and dagger teeth
esophagus drew it all
down the hell
of belly’s abyss
i. Belly is the secret place of loot where palliathieves wrung our arms
where ptyalin mates with the starch in our thoughts
but we are indigestible
true love is a fishbone
in the throat of a traitor.
Omidire, Joshua Idowu is a vibrant poet, editor, blogger, and social media strategist. He studied English and Literary Studies at the University of Lagos. He later had his Master’s in Literature-in-English in the same Institution.
His poems have appeared in Footmarks, Our Legacy of Madness, The Sky is our Earth: An- thology of 50 young Nigerian Poets. He was the winner of Professor Eruvbetine’s Poetry Prize. He also won Professor Hope Eghagha’s Drama Prize in 2012. He has been published in Pulse, Ynaija, Praxis, Literary Horizon: An International Peer-Reviewed English Journal, etc. He reports for The Journal Nigeria.
He loves reading hard books, listening to music, and scooping inspiration from the stream of mundane activities. He enjoys playing with street photography, graphic designing, and photo editing.