three sixty five days ago _ was when death sneaked into our home
and wrapped a towel around your knee dragging you far into a

night that ceased to become day. the night you were christened by
death, i mean the night you turned an undertaker’s item stuffed down

the belly of earth you became a new name stached in history. the air
reeked of the aura of tongues sore with grieving songs. when i say

coated paper now hold your presence at home, i mean the photograph
of you are everywhere. alone. in a suit frame in the living room, full

taped on our wall which wears the colour of the earth that gulped
you down its throat like wine out of bottle into its brown body

sometime ago, perhaps before or after you journeyed to the sky,
i mean the night death willed you to God, you munched softly on the

morsels of Amala as though you were afraid to swallow. you wobbled
gently on the Agbantara, it belched a creaking sound that attested to

its weakness, with eyes that appeared retreating to their caves you
beckoned to me and told me about death_ how you thought it to be a

dilated fence _ of dread & how you saw it as a rough, rugged sea you’d
never have the prowess to sail across. the night trenodies tossed our

lullabies into thorns, i mean the black, blank night death tightened its
fangs around your body, before the men washed you over and over

before mother’s body snapped like a weakened tree branch & before
father sowed you beneath the infertility of the soil, you raised alarms of

seeing death shimmering at you at the doorstep, i was by your side
on the cold, concrete floor _ one hand caressing your hair follicles, the

other interlocked with yours when death worked his fingers into the knot
muscles against your spine; the news of your death fell into my ears like

pins into tranquil water. yesterday was when i passed by your grave, i
still feel your unsettling presence but I do not possess the eyes of a dog

to see your gentle spirit & so i cursed iku, and the doctor that pronounced you
dead, and the Keke that conveyed your body and the earth you were tucked

into_ the earth that interlocked my view. i wrote this poem when i heard a

poet say _ we are mere characters entertaining God _ and then I wonder

whether God was watching when death swooped down and carried you off;
gliding away with you grasped in hooked claws_ into his wilderness so take

this poem God, as yet another drama, i hope you get entertained

Mahbubat Kanyinsola Salahudeen is a writer, poet and spoken words artist. Her works have featured or forthcoming at several places including Spillwords magazine, Brittle Paper, Ice Flow press, Ninshar Arts, Ice Lolly, Arts Lounge, SprinNG journal, Litround journal, Down in the Dirt, Aayo Magazine, Nanty Greens, Cathartic Review, Northern Otter Press, Konya Shamsrumi and elsewhere. She is a Girl Up Scholarship Fund winner, a winner of IHRAF Creators of Literary Justice Award. She’s @the_kanyinsola on Instagram.