Three Poems by Abiodun Salako

In The Lockdown, We Hate What We Are Becoming 

Fourth month into a pandemic begins our own/ we hate what we are becoming/ all these things called us: before and time before caught in the crossfire between a lockdown and protection/ we are stealing past skins like petty djinns/ but knowing it is not enough, we learn to isolate memories because/ you/ and i/ are sick of something/ sick with something/ the symptoms are the same/ fever/ dry cough/ tiredness/ loss of how we taste our collective/ or smell the musk is the sheets/ we burn conversations the same way we burn food/ to crisp/ you choose all the bad wine/ but I like them because your lips and mine touch the glass/ you tell me you are quite prehistoric when i touch you/ it takes me decades to shine the nape of your neck/ you and I are stuck together with the things we said/ ringing around the house like Christmas bells/ when my grandmother calls, we are in the same frame of the screen, but different walls pronounce our bodies/ we find ourselves in the toilet amused by the same tears simultaneously/ we once had the keys/ but lost the house/ or vice versa/ I do not remember in this ocean of sameness/ sometimes, you realise that poetry and love don't really go together/ and safety can be synonymous with apart. 


Sunday Ritual of Repainting the Body

you are caressing your tongue with pills/ the one that looks like summer sky/ the one that collapses the scary thump in your heart/ you lie in bed dreaming of becoming a spot of cream i scoop up and rub on my body/ this way, you are more than an outside / you are something inside/ felt in small spaces you'd rather taste than feel/ i am there to tell you to smell the roses in the studio/ more of a reminder when the air grows rusty like the oven your mother left you/ when i say reach me/ you ask me how far/ when I kiss your brown head/ now bald from all that surviving/ from all that communion with radiation/ you turn into a 2 month old baby/ sans teeth/ all gums and smile as wide as ocean/ we know that salamanders can regrow their limbs when lost/ i let you eat me to regrow a joy that is as ancient as John 15:11


We Come from Fiction

The dawn breaks on our tongues/ And sets in the attic of our intestines/ We sneak into the real from fiction/ Like sex, white dwarfs and snake eyes/ Transparent as thickness with a body/ Full of metaphors and an eye of onion.

We fill our heads with apples and shake It to make thoughts of apple juice/ We stick some 1940s capacitors into our carpals and seek other hands first like infrareds/ Tendon to tendon, twisting our muscles/ Into hardened spaghetti then like Wi-Fi/ Hanging kaput codes like old kites/ Worked into our vibrating foramen/ And when we begin to float like steam.

We put some flints in our hollow legs/ To twist our ankles and smoothen air/ And balls of chalk to twitch our feet/ With two steel conical chest things to/ Create freak-tion and light up our art-eries/ Puffing out of our nostrils with alphabets/ Leaking through the language of apple juices/ More importantly, our hearts, that has the skin of pepper, is a ball of cotton soaking blood.


Abiodun Salako is a Nigerian Broadcaster & Copywriter. In his spare time, he daydreams of Eden. His poems have appeared in Africanwriter, Dwartsonline, ThespeakingHeart, LocalTrainMag and elsewhere. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. Say hi to him on twitter @i_amseawater and IG @iam_seawater. 

Cover Image: An Original Kehinde Badiru Illustration 


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