The Souls Descended Into Earth || Erinola Daranijo


Image Credit: ©Mary Sedici

The Souls Descended Into Earth

by Erinola Daranijo

at ojuelegba, within a moving bus,

i sensed the gravity of silence flapping

like curtains in the obscurity.

the path unfolded ahead like life itself, divulging

how the inception of a voyage might parallel the demise of another—

i paid no heed—

as the thoroughfare carried us along, i observed through weary lenses

desiccated leaves grazing desert dunes.

trees ensnared in the gravity of this quietude unfurled their forms

to embrace the moon's clandestine whispers. and i pondered,

what gleam persists for the existing?

the man before me stifled his chuckles at the driver's jests

in a manner that conveyed,

if you perceive existence a tad more seriously, mortality turns wary.

suddenly, a woman's voice descended upon the asphalt.

her name eludes me now.

how much recollection can the deceased shoulder?

i attempted to salvage her resonance, yet it had trickled down,

infiltrating the road's hush. the road recited its own tale.

and we underwent the abrupt ceremony of blood, firearm, and flame.

i swear, ere the night cleaved through our frames akin to a blade,

ere the veracity of fire unfolded before us—

how it consumes all it touches—

i knelt to pray, to fortify my flesh in entreaty.

yet dawn discovered me—a spectre awaiting rain's grace to lead me

back to my sepulchre.

the souls descended into earth.

Erinola Daranijo (he/him) is a Nigerian. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Akéwì Magazine and the author of the micro-chapbook, "An Epiphany of Roses," forthcoming from Konya Shamsrumi. His works appear/are forthcoming on Isele Magazine, the Kalahari Review, Brittle Paper, the Hooghly Review, the Rising Phoenix Review, the B'K, Paper Lanterns, the Fiery Scribe Review, and a few others. He also has work forthcoming in The Flute: African Urban Echoes Anthology. When he isn't writing, you can find him taking a well-deserved nap in his bed (he probably is). Find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @Layworks.


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