When the Flood Does Not Disappear


By Omolola Okunlola

the earth has not swallowed the flood. water has stopped rising but barely. i am searching for dry land; for somewhere to lay my head & cough out the ashes of all the debris that have found home in my body. every passing shadow reminds me of the birds that have not yet found a place to settle.

there are colours about grief & how it comes in waves, in murky gray waters, in smoke, in gravel, in your father’s favourite shirt, in forgetting his voice. it is the line between dust & bone, rain & drowning, decay & memory. my lungs fill with water the size of the Jupiter. i look for ways to puncture the drowning. to hold the drowning in my arms, ask why it only ever comes alive when something dies. ask why the birds keep coming back to me. will god send a rainbow at the end of all this?

today, the flood does not disappear into the earth, so i dream about floating. i dream about a surrender that does not birth chaos. i dream about a loss that does not leave dust in my mouth. i dream me a butterfly that does not think about the light on the other side. i dream me clear waters. i dream me soft skies. i dream me my father’s laughter, his quiet.

i dream me dry land. i dream me birds that do not come back to me.



Omolola Okunlola is a Nigerian writer of poetry and fiction born in Kwara State. She sees writing as a problem-solving experience; a way for reality to shift to the perfect state. Her poems have been published on Agbowo Art and The African Writers. Lola loves sharwama and yellow. She can be found on Twitter as @teslimat__ and  Instagram as @tes.li.mat.




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