After Gbenga Adeoba
(Her Facebook wall—empty of her portrait)
For the girl I got to know through facebook
I met her absence months after she left
It’s been two years now.
A bird whose unknowing was fluttering
Into a family. A home where her love
Is the trickles of rain in a desert.
Again, I pour myself into the ache of her heart
On her Facebook wall. It breaks to me now
how people can make your eyes heavy with water
And your chest, crackling with flames.
And I wish to spool time backwards like disc
In the grasp of a dj. To when she never gave
In to the call of the noose.
To when she never graced her lips with
The little bottle with the label of a skull.
To when she never desired slitting her wrist
For the raw touch & ooze of red on skin.
To when she never died
& Left us to the burning fingers of grief.
Heaven knows how I wish you never knew depression.
God knows how much I wish
To write breath back into your lungs.
It’s Sunday, and the preacher asks us to say something/
To carve a request into God’s ears. & I, lamb to tears,
Beseech Him to grace your body with paradise/
To give you all the rose & daisies & honey
& love & all beautiful things. That your hands find water
& Your body becomes home for spring and songs
Ayiyi Joel is a young budding poet from Edo state in Nigeria. He was longlisted for the Akachi Chukwuemeka Poetry Prize, Under The Madness Poetry Writing month contest. He has works published/forthcoming in B’K, Rough Cut Press, Rigorous, Parousia, African Writers Mag and elsewhere.