In this city, bodies no longer gather to a fellowship of touch.
Touch becomes torture. A torch
Burning everything that once laced bodies together.
A grace of isolation settles on every lip after we say prayers for
Wuhan, Lombardy, Aden & New York. After we say prayers for Lagos.
This is a new trend. This is how we
Serenade ourselves from the howls of a virus.
From the dark clouds of fear threatening us with rain, with a flood.
There are many wars this city has borne.
There is a new war ravaging the city
We hear the clanging of shrapnel, then a forlorn silence.
We hear the dirges of crushed brethren. Candlelight
& virtual funerals.
Our cold hearts drag to the warmth in the eyes of the survivors.
But like every named war archived on this city wall:
Plague of Justinian, Black Death, Great Plague of London,
Small pox & Spanish Flu, this city yearns for a truce.
We shall hoist our hopes high till the night bleaches into a crisp morning
Break the barriers that bar our bodies from other bodies.
We shall gather in this city again & feel its pulse
When the siege is broken, we shall bring to the tables of communities
A communion of touch.
Adesina Ajala is a doctor who shares his time between treating sick children and creative writing. His works have appeared in Dark Lagos, Heart of Flesh, Red Letter Journal, Writers Space Africa, The Wild Word, The Quills, Featiler Rays, Eboquills, Parousia, AFAS Review, Libretto, Praxis, Ngiga Review, Nantygreens, Arts-Muse Fair, Mbari and elsewhere. He was co-winner TSWF Writers Prize, winner Freedom Voices Poetry Writing Prize, co-winner Monus Anthology Top 7 Entries, winner Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation (January, 2020), winner Shuzia Creative Writing Contest (4th Edition) and winner Fodio Data Stipend for Poetry(July & September, 2020).
Featured image by Matt Seymour, Unsplash