Lifeless, but Deathless

Death is the new life.
Death is the old lie-fe.
Although we become lifeless when we “die”,
we become deathless when we leave.


My gentle Oladapo is okay. He fell sick and he left me but he is okay. Bolanle is okay. She was so energetic.

Uncle Ismaila is okay. He took me to write my common entrance exam at ISI and taught me Mathematics the day before. That bread and egg and tomtom though. That year. Immediately after the exam, we began to look for where to shit. It wasn’t until we got to Osogbo where my other family members were before we “shat”. I can’t believe we held watery shit from Ibadan to Osogbo. We should have been on the Guiness Book of Records. The way we were sweating. My uncle Ismaila is okay.

Debra is okay. One day, during one of the social events at the ISI cafetaria, an A-Z list of the junior and senior students was mentioned. “As attractive as so-so-so. As beautiful as so-so-o. As creative as so-so-so. As dirty as Ronke Babajide. I was going to get some food [I stopped going for socials] at the tuck shop when I heard my name on from the speaker that could almost cover the whole school.

Gosh! I ran back to class so fast and placed my head on the table. I was so embarrassed and sad. Whoever it was that submitted my name, I hope it was worth it. It was the exact thing that I needed for the low self-esteem that I had. I, for some reason, thought being different was bad and I had to keep up. I didn’t fit in any group.

Debra was a class higher but we became friends. She didn’t let me get depressed. We would walk to the main gate together and spend our money on suya or corn. Debra even bought chicken suya for us one day. Romance-novel gang. There was always one woman that needed to be “saved” through sex but it was worth it. One day, Debra took me to watch Amos Tutuola’s “The Palm-Wine Drinkard”. Debra passed on after a car hit her. Debra is okay.

My grandmas are okay- Mama Ireakari and Mamee. My grandpa is okay. Jane Davenport is okay. She didn’t stay so I could show her how I tie my scarf, but she’s okay. My cousin’s baby is okay. Gorgeous-eyed Matt is okay.

All our “dead” relatives and friends are okay. They just don’t live with us anymore, they are living, and they are okay.


The Lady of His Dreams


He calls for her sometimes,
whenever he closes his eyes,
wherever his body lies.
Impromptu, she takes take him away,
be it night or day,
even when he lies with bae.

She hopes he would stay one day;
she cannot get enough.
Right before he goes away,
right before he opens his eyes,
she wipes his memories of her off.

She is his mistress,
but he does not know her yet.
She has gorgeous breasts and soulful eyes,
and we all call her “Death”.

On the night of his 75th birthday,
after many years of sweet sex,
she will propose to him while he is asleep,
and, of course, he will tell her “yes”.



Ilè̩ n je̩ ènìyàn.

A farmer plants and reaps his harvest.
He places seeds into the ground
and gets food in return.
Then he gives 99% of his food
to the ones who sit on the highest chairs.

Ilè̩ n je̩ ènìyàn.

One day, the ones who sit on the highest chairs
will be placed into the ground too,
properly buried, like mere seeds,
six feet under the ground,
but they will not grow back.
They will become food for the earth.

Ilè̩ n je̩ ènìyàn.

The earth feeds them,
then it eats them.


Letting Go, Letting Grow

Love proves to you,
and quite painfully,
that letting go is not always
a lot easier than holding on.
The former requires all the
strength you can give;
you give everything you’ve got to let go.
You lose the things you once held dear,
you loose yourself,
and you lose your old self.
It’s like death, and death is scary,
but resurrection is beautiful.
Go through the pain
and resurrect beautifully;
it’d be a shame to die and stay dead.


Death in Shining Armour

Death didn’t spare my previous knight
on his way to meet me,
so he became death.
He died; 
he was dead inside.
He broke hearts and ripped souls,
but I welcomed him with open arms.
Totally rejecting the idea that
he was completely dead,
I tried to fix his wounds.
He snatched my heart and broke it in six,
and I let myself die the 6th time.

Look, I am very quickly becoming death;
so, find another queen.
My flowers are not yours to wet;
my heart’s not yours to win.

Your knight was/is not Death, queen;
your real knight will come!