Salvation

College years were a blur

Didn’t leave with much

No certainty, less ambitions

Graduated quite the mediocre

No prizes were carried home.

 

What I wished to carry were much heavier

Nights with vodka when i became a goddess

those nights my voice didn’t quiver

Those nights I misplaced everyone’s expectations

I told you drunken tales of who I wanted to be

I wanted to study salvation

 

When you asked why

I told you about the child in the rain

Shivering in the darkness that enveloped her street

She had no home and a sick mother

Staring at the light in her neighbors window

I would save her

 

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Practice

I spent the year I turned 20 practicing. I practiced my reaction for when my husband would eventually leave.  When he’s had enough of my self-destructiveness. When he walks out without a word. I wouldn’t be caught unawares like aunty Hauwa who roamed the streets for years or my mother with suicidal tendency and unstable female children (the high priest said there were no males in her womb).

In my marriage our destruction will be calculated. Precisely 8 years and 3 months into the marriage. I would practice the high-pitched screams and yell curses staring at the mirror. I would cuddle in corners and wonder where the good years had gone. Run my hand through my thick hair. Stare at the bills I couldn’t afford. I would turn to religion. Turn to alcohol. Anything that would make me feel less alone.

Still staring at the mirror I pray that he will never leave me.

God Myth

“You’re sure there’s nothing we can do to turn this around” the priest half stammered tugging at his collar.

 

500 years after the youth revolution, religion had peaked. The most powerful man in the world was found pacing his much too expensive office. Beads of sweat scattered on his forehead as he turned to his must trusted adviser.

 

“The issue escalated much too quickly” the adviser spoke slowly. Carefully.  “We’re dealing with a possible psychopath”

“A madman ignorant of life’s basic truth; who doesn’t realize that humans need purpose”

 

“A mad man about to destroy the world” the priest screamed, “we could as well have ended the world with our generation, these kids will destroy everything. Every damn thing our fathers worked for“

“We worked so hard to get here, we worked hard,” he muttered severally, his voice dropping a pitch with each word.

 

The adviser spoke on “our world was doomed from the beginning, what’s important is that we save ourselves“

 

“What are you suggesting?” the priest feigned anger. The world was going to pieces he might as well try to hang on to some dignity.

 

The priest had abandoned the world a week ago, 2 days after the first red letter arrived. He sent his family and valuables to the little island. He will join them today. Chaos was fast approaching; the world as always will demand the heads of the guilty. He would be safe.

 

That night, several jets were loaded with ammunition and documents. All that remained in the large office was the red paper with the scrawny handwriting

 

“We solved the God myth, the masses deserve the truth”

Lover

Between seasons I found a lover. He would appear right before harmattan to feel my ashy palms and misty kisses. He kissed me lightly while I asleep. I never stopped him.  Never asked any questions. There was absolute peace, away from my two children and disappointed lover.

When we made love I lived different lives. Flashes. Me living centuries apart. A pot of water, balanced on my head in the early Benin kingdom. 1800, People running in war, he is picking me up. in the 1900’s, our country’s independence, a frilly white dress. Rings made of bronze.

I knew we would be together forever.

Jessica

 

You felt the muscles all over your body ease as you lay down on the leather coach in the therapist’s office

Miss Dolapo. She wore her hair low today. Maybe it was a wig. Maybe a weave. She always scribbled incessantly

Even during your first session. You returned from the hospital a week ago.

Clutched your right hand, felt the bandage over your wrist

Miss Dolapo introduced herself and asked light questions

For your file she said

Eye colour, height, and blood group. She wouldn’t ask of gender. You were 16, it was year 2311. Teenagers were not keen on choosing gender too early in life.

She asked you to talk about yourself

Five minutes of silence

You didn’t

You talked about Jessica

How she had this personality. This awesome personality. It was a gift. How you couldn’t live without her.

She asked who was Jessica.

You were offended. Jessica was a drowning angel. You had to try to save her with every last nerve. She had to live, she had to survive.

Or you would die with her

You apologized for not speaking about yourself

But Jessica gave your life meaning.

Your therapist didn’t mind

She was very interested in Jessica

She asked if Jessica was having any troubles.

Jessica couldn’t have troubles you tried to explain

Angels don’t drown

The world is drowning