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Poetry

In This Poem Prophecies Come to Pass

by MINKAIL OLAITAN

And when I wake up, / my city is on fire, the streets a landmine of bodies / planted by the siege of bullets . . .

This poem is pious. It is a portrait of desire 

& death. A tale of a ship captained by a drunk 

sailor. This poem is the bodies of brothers & 

sisters dismembered by bullets on the placards 

they carved their new country. My father was a 

church-less prophet, a man whose corpse was in 

constant alignment with Fela: a preacher who 

lived in a shrine—where God and gods meet— 

where liquor invokes the dance of age-long warriors. 

I was a fan of warriors, their dance, and hopeful 

chants. And before he swallowed grime, I chewed 

his chanting prophecies till I witnessed a ship 

capsize in my dream. And when I wake up, 

my city is on fire, the streets a landmine of bodies 

planted by the siege of bullets. I place my hands 

on my chest, it feels like my father crawling back 

to life from the chamber I buried him. I remember 

him from his guttural voice, where he said, 

What’s joy when there is nothing to measure it? 

In all these, who knew he was prophesying? 

Unlike now, when our street became Golgotha 

where a man pulls life out of another man.

In this poem, like others, whose names are dead,

I await my crucifixion by these Roman gods.

Minkail Olaitan has been published in The Shallow Tales Review, Upwrite Nigeria, Stripe Magazine, Fiery Tales Review and elsewhere.

Minkail Olaitan’s “In This Poem Prophecies Come to Pass.” Edited by Carl Terver and Onyedikachi Chinedu.