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Today, i entered a neighboring
graveyard & dug out frames
& epitaphs of its hosts with a
disturbed heart of intuitive
revulsion & queries- questions
that hover 'round a sick mind.
wanting to know why dead

people die and build an indestructible
wall of defense between themselves
& their hard-earned acquisitions.

So, a violent wind erupted out of
each grave in this settlement
that envelopes the dead,
& that -? It substantiates the seeing
of the questioner & the apt hearing
of his trembling inquisitive tone.

I saw a man that died on top of his
lover_ but what's pleasure? If not the
one that follows the moon down with its
lasting durability & the grief of death is
larger than the pleasure of sex.

& a dictionary was brought forth
with weird concepts therein
a loser is he that dies without a child,
grief is when a woman plants the body
of her only child into the shabby ground
/cries is the laments of the poor child/
& a restless ghost is a father that wasn't
given a befitting burial.

Ilorin, 2021



They rushed at me and said,

Tell us uncle, please tell us,

The joy of being owned,

Tell us what's a home?

I raised my brow to the sky,

But its place was too high,

So, I held the details in a sigh.

The truth of a home is the -

suicide note a frustrated father left

behind after exceeding his debit limits.

& a mother that sold her son to feed

his siblings and abandoned him to

the tartness of his sour fate.

I wrapped all these in a sigh &

said--Home is sweet.

Tell us more uncle,

What's parental care? What's a hug?

What's mother's warm embrace &

What's father's soothing words?

I breathed heavily this time & said,

They are the most pleasurable things.

"Take us home uncle, all of these, we want to feel"

I don't have a home too--I replied.

I'm an orphan too,

We're all orphans picturing

what it is to have a home.

Ilorin, 2021



A day, before or after the black &
blank night my father's body
turned cold/ before his body kissed
the soil, he registered his fears -to my face-
& told me of death, as a magnificent

fence _of terror_ and as a weird,
wide and wild electrified bridge
he would never have the power to cross.

This same day, he raised impotent alarms,
Of seeing death's ghost, unharmed !
hunting his soul/fastening his time/ &
hampering his breath.
He told me death awaits him at the entrance,
& all i saw was the ending edge of -
grandma's mischievous wrapper.

I was there when death sneaked in/
torn his flesh with his thorny hands/
& turned him off, I shed blood/ vomited my heart/
carried my emptied bag of despair
& buried my grief, it was the first time
i caught death in the act,
The first time I saw him feathering a
soul into his wilderness.

Ilorin, 2021

Fadairo Tesleem is a young Nigerian poet that writes from Ilorin, Kwara state. He is a teacher, a poetry coach and a literary critic. His works are up or forthcoming in Fiery scribe review, Pangolin review, Queer Toronto literary magazine literary, Arts lounge, Best of Africa, Blue Minaret, Down in the dirt and the host of others. He has some poems published to his honour on some self-publishing literary platforms.

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