Salah and I escaped the blast that ate our mother
And turned our father to the offering
God punished Eli’s sons for eating
Looking for the safest tattered house to sleep:
A bullet entered through Salah’s forehead,
While we were fleeing from gunshots,
I smiled and took it from the back of his skull
& put it in my pocket
(I cannot carry a dead body with me &
I have to show the world I have a lineage)
My eyes have seen the ground inhume blood
of people I love with all of my heart.
Our playground turned to a red sky.
Smiling all the time is a sign
the mind is depressed and the body a house to scars.
I grew up believing I will become some mothers’ prayer
every morning they wake up to pray for their children.
Now all that is preventing me from killing myself
is the thought that the world was beautiful
& the world will be beautiful again.
Idowu Odeyemi is a Nigerian poet and essayist. His poem Love Only Kills A Poor Boy won the Liverpool based Merak Magazine 2019 annual literary recognition Awards for Best Poem of the Year. He was shortlisted for the 2018 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize and the Christopher Okigbo Poetry prize. His poems have appeared or forthcoming in the anthology 84 Bottles of Wine dedicated to the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Constellate Journal, Kalahari review, Praxis magazine, Lite Lit One, Perhappened Magazine, among others.