Image © Ogunlesi Paul Oyetunde 2020
|by Ugochi Okoli||July 30, 2020|
The last time I saw Nkem,
His tongue was in my mouth
It moved in ways that echoed things
Our lips would never make into words
The things we weren’t allowed to do
But we did
We did everything but spoke of nothing
We had conversations with our bodies
Listening to the intensity of our touch
To the beating of our hearts
The depth of our breath
But we hid
He was an unveiling
The discovery of a different kind of chaos
More felt than seen
More peaceful than catastrophic
He was sunshine in the rain, a cliché
But yet, real
He said “I love you” for the first time
In the corridor of my Yaba flat
His arms were wrapped around me
As though we had forever to live in our sin
I wondered what his wife would think
If she heard
Five years have gone by
In a crowded Lekki mall
I can read his body language
Better than my doctor’s prescription
I want every part of his flesh against mine
But should I?
What would he do if he knew?
That I still think of his hands on my skin
At breakfast with my lover, Khalil
What would he do if he knew?
That cancer has given me a few months to live
And I want to mess up our lives with it
*Lekki and Yaba are towns in Lagos, Nigeria
Nkem is a poem about finding love in the wrong places and how we become drawn to people that are not necessarily healthy for our conscience but great for our hearts. How being a mistress is considered socially and morally wrong but who teaches the heart to heed social constructs?
Ugochi is a writer from Anambra State, Nigeria. She is a graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and an avid reader. When she is not reading, writing or fighting the patriarchy, she is working as a Communications Officer with NGOs’ to improve the condition of education in Nigeria through policy making. Her works have been published in magazines in Nigeria, India and UK. Ugochi hopes to connect with, teach and heal people through writing. You can find her on twitter @ugochi_ng.
Ogunlesi Paul Oyetunde is from Ogun State,Nigeria and was born on the 14th day of November 1994 in Lagos,Nigeria. He is a graduate of the prestigious Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria, where he obtained Higher National Diploma in General art and Higher National Diploma in Fine Art (Majoring in Painting). His works are created from the inspirations drawn from his yesterdays, his views concerning environmental and social-political issues, all that hovers in his environs and his high hope in the morrow, laid out with series of countenances. He worked as an IT student in Defactori Art Studio under Akintunde Olajide John. And he has participated in different Art Workshops and Exhibitions that include: The Art for Peace Workshop, The GFA workshop and other group exhibitions both in and outside Nigeria. His works have been collected both in Nigeria, Australia, The UK and the US.