After Your Great Jump off the Bridge
-& now, I can’t grow an Eden for you to plant
laughter, for you to trim its edges with the
smile of sunflowers, below the sky of bluebells
that shrouds the shoulder of the slender
evening. For after your great jump off the bridge,
I saw how your body breaks into stones, like soft
pebbles picked up by little boys & thrown
into the sea. -& I bury how Lagos Third Mainland
Bridge swallowed you beneath its watery road
in my grief. Your stiff five fingers, like blades
of a standing fan, waved words:
… set me as a river
of your memory, gushing out of your vessel, for
rivers cover faith. -& sometimes, goodbye is better
left on the creaking shelf amidst faded flowers.
Like dry woods, your words snap my body,
breaking it into syllables of grief—my joy
has a slender body, singing of how I
become a living ghost after your great jump.
Ifeoluwa Ayandele has completed his MA in English (Literature) at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His work has been published or is forthcoming at Tint Journal, Ilanot Review, Thimble Literary Magazine, Rattle, Verse Daily, Pidgeonholes, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Burning House Press, Kin Poetry Journal and elsewhere. He tweets @IAyandele.