By Obasa Funmilayo
fall into a house / lock yourself—
but won’t open it.
the incense you inhale
is a sedative, soft—
perfumed with sweetness.
before you turn to dust, before you start to chant
you have fallen
into a house of sweet enslavement—
the key is with you
open it &
don’t run forever!
remember why you fell:
to draw life from Eden,
“the space between a sermon &
the preacher’s righteousness can
be measured by mouth”
— Adebayo Aragau
your pastor chants all sorts
of tongues, in Jesus’ name.
your pastor sings all sorts
of serenades, in Jesus’ name.
hallelujah; your clothes lay on
the floor of his home. in God’s
the reverend is an arsonist —
your body is his prey.
a long sermon
takes you to church to worship
the man in a wedding dress,
you worship him,
you worship him
you worship him…
breathe, pant —
his hands are covered
you have decided that the faith you
swim in will be your lips and eyes,
but it is only a sojourner because
men have written that your celibacy
is for god, your rod is for god &
woman. so you enter a closet and play
the game of life: they ask, “do you prefer
to be burnt alive or gay?” —
your lips shiver while it spills a river
of homophobia. on a sunday evening
you begin to confess your sins
to him; dancing to the groans and
moans you cry, as a leaf in the dark.
ennui: you are wrapped in chains.
ennui: you are lost ‘cause your
lover has jumped down a balcony
at the monastery.
“All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach…”
—Hozier (Arsonist’s Lullaby)
Obasa Oluwafunmilayo is an upcoming Nigerian poet and photographer. With her words and photographs she paints images of her imaginative sentiment, political faults of her country and gender equality