A leak in the ceiling



There are times we are roads,
hurrying away from endless feet,
we empty ourselves in seas
and lands of tasteless mud.


She needed a true love,
one that blows the mind away,
I whispered love in her heart,
she worshipped me like a god.


She came in beams of the moon,
whipped me with her surreal eyelashes
and cursed me with restlessness
for the rest of my life.


She cast a light into my night,
forced her way in my soul,
till my shadows littered everywhere.


This beauty-queen behind the mountain
where my eyes could not penetrate
was the reason I needed wings to fly.


She a woman in all wits of splendour,
gallant like the eagle’s soars,
subtle like the plods of a snail;
she made her stride phenomenal —
the beauty, the love, the chaos,
and the mystery of life.


Like the earth, patient and tolerant,
she soaked in my storms
and made blossom with them
flowers in beautiful shades.


Maybe it’s her eyes, beaming like petals
found in the deepest parts of seas,
or her strides, the way she smiled
like the charms of a full moon;


perhaps it was how she talked
and articulated like a good poetry,
or the way she looked at me,
calm and collected like a dove.


Two ceremonies soon met in her eyes:
a naming and a funeral;
for in her mouth were wiles and cunning tricks,
pleasing my groins to paradise


What couldn’t I do for a kiss,
and an empty bed filled
with flames and water?


I found her bare and vulnerable,
walked into her bones
and still plundered to emptiness.


She was a resort of attraction
until I touched her in places
no human will ever want to visit.


Her body was the river
where I washed off my filth.


I who undressed with my eyes,
heeded to her bids before she asked;
I who sought a ride into paradise,
was back on earth again, arrogant and commanding,
and she seemed no less to me
than a fly seems to the wind.


That she searches now for nothing
in her mind, but everything in her heart,
is pitiable. Birds perch at her feet,
she has nothing to offer,
so she throws them her sympathy.


In her tongue are words,
playing around her lips to superfluity,
but in her heart is a silence,
loud and resonating like an empty room.


I read these silent lips,
how subtly they fall and rise,
each count is a word buried in tears.
And when she smiles
to hide the scars of the past,
her bones glow under the façade of her flesh.


Silence is when each echo
seems the same and the heartbeat
is an acknowledgement of what
the tongue is not able to express.


She sits upon a memory dune,
watches the night grow in wings,
the moon seems to be sinking
into the seawater…


she stretches her arms for the stars,
stuffs each into her inward eyes
as she sings of love and hatred
that lasts her till the dawn.


But she never knows:
each one of us is a waif,
a tattered map patched together
to set the sail aright.


And what we are looking for
is not always what we find,
it is always what finds us
in places we never think it will.


There are times we are roads,
hurrying away from endless feet,
we empty ourselves in seas
and lands of tasteless mud.

About the author

Aremu Adams Adebisi is a North-Central Nigerian writer, author of works inspired by natural vastness, published/forthcoming in Lucent Dreaming, Thimblelitmag, Third Wednesday Magazine, The Account Magazine, Cathexis Northwest Press, Terse Journal, and elsewhere. He curates ARTmosterrific and serves as an Associate Editor for Elartinia Magazine. He has appeared in Best ‘New’ African Poets Anthology and 20.35 Africa’s Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. He tweets @aremudamsbisi

We're legion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.