I am a stranger in this place
& grief’s white teeth leave
its bite marks on my skin:
the relic of a child left in the
cold hand of an estranged city,
alone. I am a stranger in this city
& family dinner table is a strange
epigram, for god had to send his
food in crumpet, without tables.
I am a stranger, walking through
crowded streets & trying to love,
but a hole, the size of a bullet,
break through the paradise beneath
mom’s feet, & god, too, is a stranger
walking in grief, giving me crumpet.
When the Rainbow Falls from the Sky
When the rainbow falls from the sky,
we lose our vow with God
& rain becomes soft pebbles, flood fumes
towering the heights of Mount Everest.
That is the genesis of how broken boys
reach the sky in search of warmth,
sniffing the cloud for home
& trying to bite a loaf of love,
to taste a bit of heaven
& walk in seamless shadows
like angels with broken wings
holding the strong tower of liberty.
How Things Look Back
Have you ever nursed an ambition,
or perhaps, a long dream lying waste
under the fractured bones of a city
that breaks hope into hiccup?
Have you sought laughter
amidst coughs of affection?
Have you, perhaps, run with chains
at your feet, singing dire dirge,
or at least, prayed for salvation
Amidst rumbled rotten rubbish?
If you have, you know too
how it looks back:
like Lot’s wife,
becoming a pillar of salt.
Ifeoluwa Ayandele studied English at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Neologism Poetry Journal, Kin Poetry Journal, Brittle Paper, African Writer, Kalahari Review, Tuck Magazine, Best “New” African Poets 2017 Anthology, Africa, UK, and Ireland: Writing Politics and Knowledge Production Volume 1, and elsewhere. He tweets @IAyandele.
Featured photo credit: Amanda Ollinik @Allunderonemoon