For Biyi Bandele and Pius Adesanmi
Olusoji: like a bright day unknowingly losing its
radiance to the advent of the night,
death, you blow off the lamps
& leave us in darkness—in the disbelief
of the grief that awaits us.
perhaps you only blow it off; there’s
more oil to light the lamps, we’ve thought.
but you’ve not only blown them off,
you also steal them away. we are still
not sure if that is what you’ve done. huh?
Olusoji: you know, we are still in the dark you leave us
but hoping to see the dawn. &
that is why we think you’re
fooling us. why do we have to grieve this way?
Olusoji: talk, death. talk! this is
supposed to be a conversation.
why do we just have to grieve this way? like
someone being fooled? we don’t want to
believe that we’re in a game with you, though.
because life is as phantasmagorical as you.
we aren’t sure if life is the answer to death
or if death is, but we know
both are supernatural sciences.
Death: (silence lingers till eternity)
Olusoji: fuck! we will forever think that
you never exist, even when we are all dead.
who will ever think you exist? you’re a dream
in our sleep; we’re waiting to wake up soon.
waiting to wake up & see souls their lamps
you’ve stolen still have them lit.
Dirge: death, you enter the house of the rich
you do not take the money;
you take the owner of the money.
death, you enter the poor man’s house
you do not take the crumb of bread you see;
you take the breadwinner.
you unstrap the baby from his mother’s back.
you dig a hole too deep, create a vacuum too wide
to cover. to cover means to bury.
we bury bodies. we don’t bury relics.
we bury relics. we don’t bury memories.
pius did go. now, biyi is nowhere to be found.
what have you done, death? what have you done?