Living sometimes, is skydiving between God &
home. Screw my frosty breath. I was born in the language
of summer. Brick after block mason-ed in winter’s
semantics. Leaf-green okra whitening in the refrigerator.
I do not know what it means to watch a bird
freeze to its demise in the snow. But I can imagine.
We learnt the same way how light is faster
than sound. Books before bullets. Black bird’s path bright
-ened by lightning. Before her blinding. Before thunder
set dudu feathers & bones on golden-yellow
fire scattered over grey clouds. Audience, like in this poem,
no violence is intended. If one or two hundred
million casualties result from a trial at illumination,
we sure could write that off. There’s only one
Yoruba word for fire & light—iná. In the GOT series,
The Mad King’s last words were: burn them
all; burn them all. LOL. The story goes that on the colonizers’
arrival, my foremother & forefather stretched out
black arms to receive light, & were greeted
by bullets. Forgive light. Blame language.
Muiz Opeyemi Ajayi (Frontier XVIII) studies Law at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He’s an editor at The Nigeria Review, featuring/forthcoming on Poetry Wales, Nigerian News Direct, 20.35 Africa, San Pedro River Review, Trampset & elsewhere. He’s a 2021 ARTmosterrific Writer-in-Residence, PROFWIC Poetry Prize & BKPW Poetry Contest second runner-up.