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Whatsapp Blues: Two Poems by Mobolaji Olawale

Image: remixed


On some days, our chats are sweet fruit salads.
Witty pidgin with red romantic emojis blended in.
Good English knifed tu bleed lyk watr melonz.

On others, her replies are too formal, too boring
Like I’m her boss at work or a twitter stalker.
‘Hello Sir’ or ‘Good morning please’

Damilola is typing…
And I don’t know which persona to expect today.
A tug of war in my head
And she doesn’t even know. I click on her avatar
And I see her pursed lips
Made as if to say ‘come’, as if to say ‘go’.
There are some problems WhatsApp cannot solve.



Lagos is checking his wrist watch for the hundredth time
But this time it’s different
He is sighing
The OCD is finally over
He is thinking of which bridge to climb
On his way home
He is navigating his way from Lekki to Ketu
He is racing at 180kmph, all inside his head
No lastma, no road safety, no traffic lights
He is returning to reality
He is grabbing his car key and rushing down the stairs
He is feeling hungry
But his teeth are fatigued
From biting jollof rice and goat meat
And his stomach is tired of beer.
He is deciding to settle for gala and la casera
From the hawkers by the roadside, on his way home
He is unlocking his car
Bidding his fellow workers goodbye
With a blunt affect
He is trying to resist the urge
To see another prostitute tonight
He is not winning the battle
He is becoming desperate to visit the brothel
He is loosening his tie
He is starting his car with ferocious energy
He is thinking of things he will do at the brothel
He is making the turn to the main road
Where he will hit his brake reluctantly
Where all fantasies and desires
Come to die.
The truth is for all his lust and cravings,
Even Lagos gives in to Lagos traffic.

© Bolaji Olawale
Image: remixed

Mobolaji Olawale
Mobolaji Olawale
Mobolaji Olawale, a medical doctor who has been published and has works forthcoming in The Kalahari Review, African Writer, Brittle Paper and Afridiaspora, writes from Lagos, Nigeria. He worries about his FPL team every weekend.

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