Let Me Gently

my father was one of
the reasons why i never

wanted to become rich
my brother & i would sit on the gelid
concrete floor to listen to him

& it was always the same.
he never voted for APC &
he always lost…because his radio
never made a ‘shhssshhhh!!’

father believed in lost causes:
Biafra, government, my Ma

a cautionary tale could suffice
for a man like my father
i liked my father because he
did what I wouldn’t do
& my brother liked him like that

is it the buzzing mosquitoes he
killed with his palms clasped
together in the big city of Lagos
where we slept?

& sometimes he would hold up
his bet slip & he would say:
“Ure, i think Chelsea will
win today…”
& Chelsea would always lose
& the alley cats would go on to be the
screamers that night because
father would hurl all his brandy bottles
at them

in the streets…
& he would shout, like mad
& my brother would cry so much
& i would pace fifty kilometers
to the station to call the police on
my father; & they’d say:
“let me—
for this frustration eats me
and eats you too”

Like Twilight Edging Out of Day

I used to hide behind my
Grandfather’s shelf to espial
My little lilies grow.
Awestruck & mostly dejected
Because I never got till the end.

I loved the thought of being
Witness to something as
Graceful as my flowers
The bud-nipping early, betwixt
The middle of March.

& trammeled to watch the flower
Grow. Move. An inch. Or two.
& I would stand there all night
Long. Daring the flowers to move
Their sepals or shed their innumerable Petals

Into the water. But they always
Grew; & I never witness them.
Sleep was a more humbler
Experience. Nature couldn’t be
Force either way: sleep & blossoming

Of Dream Mags, Little Wins, and Acceptances

& i walk under their vestibule
at a deluge of golden
the array of rejected images i
witness recoil and render me inert &
smitten with love

even in this seemingly rebarbative niche.
for they have graced my charms
with their viscid smile
letting me have those little
victories & never berating me

& with impunity, have
have looked upon my
lowly works
& in them, seen sparks

& i have in turn hurled on them praises,
like Agamemnon,
with blood-splattered ink
on papyrus decor