by Bayowa Ayomide
If you ask me, I may know why the caged bird cries.
I used to think of deserted water as the loneliest,
then I realized the sun’s the creepiest.
It peeps from the sea’s blanket with its hands within,
looks around, and reptiles far away into the sky, quickly.
The earth is now spiral, like a snake chasing its tail.
I know because time is the only thing moving.
‘i’ is a candle with an invisible wick, burning dots upon itself.
Walls do not send fire upon a matchstick
scrubbing its forehead against their bricks,
because I think I smell the kerosene of
‘the third world war‘ like ‘Christ is coming soon.‘
I was hypnotized; my beak does not fit in the cages’ iron.
There are voices hidden in these walls;
I hear cries and giggles that are not my own.
Something, someone, somebody farts in the air;
We, us, our soldiers are fighting unsure wars.
The clink-clank milk squeezing out brown, black tea
is an outbreak hitting my head, skull split, rebellious soldiers?
I know I have sinned.
I know Isolation is idolatry—
worshipping the deity of separateness and loneliness.
I know because the wind is the only thing outdoor to stir the children’s swing.
Source: From the Isolation Issue (September 2020)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BAYOWA AYOMIDE is a Nigerian-Canadian poet, filmmaker, actor, and cinematographer. He transferred from the University of Ibadan to complete his B.A in Theatre and Drama Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Toronto, Canada. He was a long-list of the Nigerian Students Poetry Award 2018, shortlist of the 2018 Eriata Oribabhor’s Poetry Contest, the runner up of the 2020 On-Spot Poetry Writing Contest, a shortlist of 2018 and 2019 Christopher Okigbo Interuniversity Poetry Prize. His works have appeared on Praxis-magazine online, Africanwriter, Afas Review 2018, The Medium- University of Toronto’s Campus Newspaper and BPPC. He is the author of the chapbook, ‘Stream of Tongues, Watercourse of Voices.’ He believes so much in the nightly prophecies of the crickets behind his window.