lost/ if found please return

Sodïq Oyèkànmí

By Sodïq Oyèkànmí

—after reading Adedayo Agarau

tonight i take a piece of paper          & fill it with the names
of everything lost       to the rumbling river       to the earth       to the hands
that plucked & plucked       until what’s left are the crumbs
of memories           tell me what’s the use of a body
if its effulgence is stiffled into a bleak portrait?
if a boy is bruised before blooming
with ashes of what he will never grow up to become
i open my twitter       & someone is missing again
the news on tv
a lady is missing in a Lagos BRT       lost/ if found please return
in another news       her body is found decapitated                   tell me
how beauteous does a body have to be to end up mutilated
for an anatomy practical
or a ritual? organs plucked           out like sweet berries for wine
graphic content       viewer discretion is advised: a room in a dungeon
innards of infants wherever you stand     there
open that big black earthen pot
a concoction of foetuses           human heads           limbs & bones
another room full of ashes
no proper burial just a gory cremation
i enter another room
& the air sits so languid in my lungs           like it’s already been breathed
i walk down the street           clad in fear
no one knows who will become the next portrait           hanging sharply
on tv   on twitter   or a notice board
with the caption                      lost/ if found
please report to the nearest police station

Sodïq Oyèkànmí is a genre–bending writer from West Africa. He enjoys writing as he sees this as a therapeutic creative outlet. He co-judged the AKUKỌ Inuargural Literary Competition [Poetry Category] alongside Rosed Serrano. A Best of the Net nominee with works published/ forthcoming in The Muse Journal, Poetry Wales, Brittle Paper, trampset, Agbowó, Pidgeonholes, Olney Magazine and elsewhere. A wildflower who tweets @sodiqoyekan