Alfred Olaiya


Aches,
Sour…
Sour coughs.
Hiccups. Hiccups

And thuds of clangs
From my rusted gong in
My palms — our palms
Full of words, words of unspoken wrath.
With buttocks, darkened by Hope’s lashes
Dies
Under the shallow shade.

Under the shallow shade of Apádò tree
That sprawls its shadow across the crossroad:
Crossroad of red water
That flows to the river.
Can you hear the music from the flute?
The flute by the riverside.
I can hear it.
It soars in the air and stabs the dried leaves.
I know the rythm. It has a message for me,
For us!
Tell me. Tell me quickly before they rise from their slumber.
But then, it dies under the Apádò tree.
The message undelivered.

So I milden with my guts,
Guts of pulsating resentment
And loll in bowls of bowels,
Bowels of scraps.
But now, I fear.
For the shade dies slowly with rains of leaves,
Dried leaves on me.
The vultures will soon come
And lick the fifth finger.

So,let me be.
Passers-by, I pray, let me be.
A fated honor I see in this:
As I wallow in
Aches,
Sour…
Sour coughs and
Hiccups.