Love Only Kills a Poor Boy

The boy shivered when I kissed him,
He said love does not kill
Death does
And death comes in many ways.
That night was his last on god-swollen foot,
He was burnt
By his own father.

My mother never hated me
Until that night
When she heard my little secret,
I am in love
With a boy.

My mother could not bear
Fire around her son,
So she sent me into the cold nights
And spilt these words into my heart:
“You have served me indignities –
never come back.”
The statement sounds, to me like an epitaph.

Now, I am here among crickets
In the wilderness
Thinking of why love only kills a poor boy
Whom they could not accept in the society.

Idowu Odeyemi

Idowu Odeyemi is a Nigerian poet, essayist and writer of fiction. He was shortlisted for 2018 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize and the 2018 Christopher Okigbo Interuniversity Poetry Festival. He is the winner of the 2018 Ekiti Future Awards Prize for Literature. His works have appeared or are forthcoming on Tuck magazine, Kahalari review, Constellate journal, Praxis magazine, Opinion Nigeria among others.


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