The beginning of our love is quite sad,
‘tis the patron deity of all nightmares.
Our love story is primarily plaid,
For it is the worst of all my affairs.
This tale of ours begins on a dirt road—
An insincere pathway that deceived me.
In that time before I mastered the ode,
And your smile was all that filled me with glee.
Let us together, return to that day,
Join me on memory’s rickety sleigh.
I was but a blossoming young man then,
Without purpose, without identity.
And as was commonplace with all young men,
I was devoted to obscenity.
Nights spent pillow talking with the devil,
Always ended in self-fornication.
‘twas but an intoxicating revel,
Accompanied by awful luxation.
Until this forbidden fruit you did hew,
And set me free from my deep-rooted rue.
And all the world was aflame on that day—
On that day when my eyes first beheld you.
On your neck sat your head like rounded clay,
Your hips snaked down on either side like dew.
Your sullen eyes chaperoned an eclipse,
But your smile blinded me with its God rays.
And on that day our lives became blue scripts,
Written for a scoffing audience to graze.
A volcano erupted inside me,
And lava sluiced towards my kisser’s quay.
The lesson of the preceptor but drowned,
with the sirens who dwelt at my ear’s hatch.
On that wooden bench I was all but bound,
Losing a battle against my heart’s latch.
Osun and Peitho battled for my love—
It was a love that was not mine to will.
Jocund was the mood of angels above,
And of Min’s wine had I a copious swill.
And there begun what seemed to be a pash,
Succeeded only by a ten-year lash.
In the season when the dirt turned to mud,
And our prints became ammonite fossils.
Boots bore browned hues, to resemble the spud,
And muddy tracks followed, like apostles.
That modest shop kept its warmth from us all,
With sweets and cakes held in captivity.
On my scalp, Sango’s tears began to crawl,
And spangled hairs swayed with festivity.
I started wandering lonely as a cloud,
And searched for you as much as chance allowed,
In this tragedy my foes commissioned,
You would always elude my overtures.
Much like the way Shakespeare had envisioned,
The poison took me where there were no cures.
And so I died a little, day by day,
Under the heel of unrequited love.
Upon my soul this stiff burden did weigh,
A great inconvenience I could not shove.
And then you became an apparition,
Denying me a shot at contrition.
You were everywhere and nowhere at once,
Nestled in the arms of another man.
Those hours after school felt like a séance—
Hours spent listening to that ghoulish yes-man.
“Loves me, loves me not,” cost my rose its limbs,
As I wrestled with a fruitless desire.
I was a fish floating without his fins,
Destined for rejection’s peppery pyre.
How does a dying man grasp oxygen
When Houdini makes his breath a pigeon?
I am familiar with that sensation,
Because it was all I felt when you walked
Past me in the hallway. The elation
Numbed me, as though we had already talked.
And when you pressed yourself against the wall,
And surveyed what was your reality.
My soul scraped at my chest, ready to brawl,
As love had made my heart a filigree.
On cold days, your lips shone like sun glitter,
Against a backdrop of barbet chitter.