OEDIPUS TRAVAIL by Bayo Aderoju
by Bayo Aderoju
Yesterday, the village rainmaker held rain.
This morning, wind mimicked rooster,
woke a storm,
blew rainclouds’ eclipsing garb into the supple face of God.
No amount of sniffle can drain a runny nose,
Mother remarked, coughed –
phlegm in her mouth –
spat & averred:
asunkunsi n fi ikun pamo ni*.
Darkness unfurled after the sea has swallowed
the amber sun
like an overripe orange.
I lay – in my bed – upon my back,
& let my eyes caress the white ceiling
projecting my thoughts
because my mind wouldn’t let me sleep,
because my heart felt like Thebes
where Oedipus gouged his own eyes.
Doesn’t sleep, however, wield the same charm as death?
A charade encroached my dreamland:
a snake slithered, crept hard
upon a rock in order to etch itself.
Denouement was twilight & soft rays
& gentle breeze fanning the wounds.
So the audience ran when the protagonist ran mad.
“You don’t know what you do.”
That’s what night says when it calls
to claim willpower & drop aches.
That’s the atmosphere before father left
to obtain horns for his horse.
*Sniffle only delays mucous.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bayo Aderoju is a multi-genre writer from Nigeria. His latest fiction has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Decade of Action Short Stories Anthology. His works appear/forthcoming on Brittle Paper, Stellium, Agbowo, Platform Review, African Writer, Praxis, Spillwords, Kalahari Review, The Shallow Tales Review and elsewhere. He tweets @bayo_aderoju.