And when I wake up, / my city is on fire, the streets a landmine of bodies / planted by the siege of bullets . . .
This poem is pious. It is a portrait of desire
& death. A tale of a ship captained by a drunk
sailor. This poem is the bodies of brothers &
sisters dismembered by bullets on the placards
they carved their new country. My father was a
church-less prophet, a man whose corpse was in
constant alignment with Fela: a preacher who
lived in a shrine—where God and gods meet—
where liquor invokes the dance of age-long warriors.
I was a fan of warriors, their dance, and hopeful
chants. And before he swallowed grime, I chewed
his chanting prophecies till I witnessed a ship
capsize in my dream. And when I wake up,
my city is on fire, the streets a landmine of bodies
planted by the siege of bullets. I place my hands
on my chest, it feels like my father crawling back
to life from the chamber I buried him. I remember
him from his guttural voice, where he said,
What’s joy when there is nothing to measure it?
In all these, who knew he was prophesying?
Unlike now, when our street became Golgotha
where a man pulls life out of another man.
In this poem, like others, whose names are dead,
I await my crucifixion by these Roman gods.
Minkail Olaitan has been published in The Shallow Tales Review, Upwrite Nigeria, Stripe Magazine, Fiery Tales Review and elsewhere.
Minkail Olaitan’s “In This Poem Prophecies Come to Pass” was edited by Carl Terver and Onyedikachi Chinedu.