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Abiodun Salako: In Memoriam

In Memoriam

The saddest word in the language.
In any language.
Mark Slouka

Maybe one day my grandmother would return with the sweetest oranges she used to buy/ all cut up by love/ all offered with a smile that now only lives where orange exists/ maybe I’d follow her come here  with an actual coming/ maybe I’d morph myself into the space between her and my mother and become cyanoacrylate/maybe I’d whisper into her ears, place your daughter’s head on your thighs, teach her how to bend earth with her feet, embrace her for half a hundred years of absence/ maybe I’d tell her to put out her cracked feet let me wash them/ I’d tell her that her hair of white is a field of moon glitter / then wring my small brain into finally realising her laughter is the ocean that I am/ maybe I’d tell her she smells of all the things I didn’t know/ richness/ stainless/history/ everywhere she carried her children with her/ even in the dark where she tongued them into the mouth of a god that would haunt my mother to death/ from the window, I’d watch her forget how to look at the back of her daughter when leaving again and again/ maybe I’d tell her each time, her daughter would cry in the passageway/ tears I picked like Kyoho grapes/ ripe from all parting/maybe I’d offer her an orange upon her return this time/ saying take all this little boy’s sweetness and smile too/ maybe the pool of grief turned shadow that followed her when she left would burn away / maybe I’d kiss her for the first time on that pale cheek peeling from aloneness/ with nose/ with teeth/ with chest as warm as pudding/ burying my whole face into her shrinking/ maybe death is the closest thing to love when there is no love.


The Days of Woodpecker and Salmon

It is July, the days of the woodpecker and salmon
+++the first time of the year
we sit in a cafeteria together,
+++beside the sea, beside tanned hands

in so close a space our laugh
+++pierce into the skin of doughnuts,
we cross pollinate thoughts
+++bumblebee to flower and backwards,

who sucks and who swallows,
+++we are one and the same thing,
you ask about the scar on my
+++chapped lips, then the stories behind

things diffuse into other stories,
+++inside the carbuncle of my chest
bleached from all those non-togetherness
+++all that sleep tucked away in phone lines:

I want you to ask more, ask me
+++why I look at you like a bat,
what daydreams ruin the shape of my head,
+++why I’m unpacking my eyes

like a suitcase, the invisible clothes
+++left on the third chair that seemed empty
but maybe you too are unpacking,
+++maybe you too slipped

a secret note inside the closet
+++of my ears, maybe I couldn’t hear them,
just maybe you ask where my heart’s spirit
+++leans and Jesus comes to make a man cry in

one eye and you shine in his other eye.


Poetry (c) Abiodun Salako

Image by Jorge Lujan from Pixabay

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


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