By Olayioye Paul Bamidele
good old days are good arsonists. they burn
& burn & burn & burn until we are left with
ashes as memories. in this place, i trawl my
hand in the ashes & my hand soots. i pull out
a singed portrait of my family. my father & i
are seared from the picture. my mother, a smiling
monochrome, explores her teeth to the camera.
on her lips, unlived songs dwindle. songs that
haven't seen the light. // one of the things childhood
deprived me of is that i didn't taste love as love,
but familiar with the word - the stress, bleating
between the tongue & front teeth. i mean, i am
one of the choirs, pastor howling to me, 'God loves you.'
i mean, i was in the refuge camp, Amnesty groups
breathing into our ears, words of love - clean enough
to wash the echo of the bomb, detonating our hamlet. //
history has become a relic of pain. a scar, whose wound
refreshed daily. i can't live to myself without resurrecting
my family on my lips & mind. // good old days are good
arsonists, inflating flames.
Olayioye Paul Bamidele is a writer and a student of mass Communication. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Spillword, Lunaris, Artlounge, Ice Floe, Black Moon, Feral, and elsewhere.