Ajise Vincent is an economist and social researcher based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming at The Bond Street Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Jawline Review, Jalada, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Chiron Review, Asian Signature, Ann Arbor Review, Yellow Chair Review, Bombay Review, Snapdragon: a journal of art & healing, Ann Arbor Review, The Cadaverine, Souvenir literary journal, Sentinel Quarterly & various literary outlets. He loves coffee, blondes & turtles.
MESSAGE AT GIZA
Yester night, at the tunnel beside the pyramid of Giza,
I met a boy whose only source of nutrition
is the mucus from his leaking nose & tears from his raining eyes.
He broke my chain of ignorance & told me tales --
Tales of how the noun called people is modified by adjectives of sufferance;
Tales of how the land has been barren and now seeks fertilizers called policies;
Tales of how the Nile of our shamed-past drowns any cargo of fulfillment.
He told me tales of how devils now cast spells of chaos using the rod of Moses. Abracadabra.
SERMON OF A FIANCÉE
tonight, i’ve come to declare my doubts as a sermon
on the road where bald seers count beads,
chant incantations, mold resolutions,
just to ransack the past and peep into the offing.
Sincerely, i am being beaten by worry.
i am also drowning in confusion’s ecstasy,
for I don’t know if our conjugality
still springs forth waters of truth.
you liken my love to a python
that engulfs your conscience with innocence,
yet you still stare at Asabi’s bulbous hips
that wriggles as she sashays.
you said you have chewed off your past of infidelity
& spat it to the swaying dust,
yet the white man’s rubber still dances in your pocket
I’ve watched you drank from the gourd of lust,
gesticulating in your drunkenness, mocking every iota of my patience.
Haba! I am bleeding pints of pangs
that’s affecting the pulse of my love.
please change, lest you see our future
walking down the aisle of goodbye
Asabi: a woman from the Yoruba tribe.
Haba: a word used in pidgin to signify stress, pity or worry.
i know the odor of your grievances, brothers.
it smells like alcohol tattooed on the sinews
of erraticism. it bears the emblem of war.
in obedience to the regimen of your ploys
i came to you with the horn of solidarity,
blowing, interluding, yearning, for the
rhythms of compromise. all have been vain.
can the riddle of the palm crack the endocarp of its nut?
does the mahogany sprout from the void of winds?
now, i come again, empty, without my amulets,
charms & arrows. asking, appealing, again & again,
let’s commingle as one -- as all, brothers