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Rediscovery: A Poem by Samuel Ogunkoya


& when you have nothing left to write about
Write about ruined cities
And rivers flowing backwards
about loves that never came to be
And friends that leave without footprints
about failed letters
And unfinished poems
About stories that were never told
Because the bearers lost their voices
They lost it to weepy fear
Stories became attempted speeches
And stuck to the soft palate and the
teeth lining the streets of our mouth like beggars
About wayfarers
And their bodies stolen
First by time & death and then by other bodies
About nuanced talks
And your grandmother’s absence
– That woman, one you never met
you sometimes hear her laughter ring through the alley
rich and warm and you sometimes
wonder how her embrace would be
Would she swing her face to the side
while exposing her chest
Or will she keep it straight
Pouring looks into the one receiving love-
Write about chaos
I hear chaos is a man
The first son of fear
Write about him.
But that is after you
Have written about yourself
And the magic that brought you here.
A rediscovery.
Poem © Samuel Ogunkoya
Image: Samuel Zeller on Unsplash (remixed)

Samuel Ogunkoya
Samuel Ogunkoya
Ogunkoya Samuel is a Nigerian physiotherapist. His poems have been published/are forthcoming on AfricanWriter, Kalahari Review, Best New African Poets 2017 anthology and Barking Sycamores. He writes from Ile-Ife.


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