I wrote the piece some years ago during the end of November. Naturally, that was around the time the harmattan season comes. The day I had an idea about the poem, I was walking alone amidst the cold weather. It was morning. I had this feeling of loneliness during the walk that I could not shake off. The weather itself felt lonely, somehow. So I attempted to relate the loneliness and sadness of the atmosphere to my own loneliness and sadness.
It is harmattan again. The people I love, like
the old trees, are distant or dying. I walk the
boulevards outside the house. The air, sharp,
whitened by a dry cold. There is a loneliness
inside the morning breeze. I can tell because
it reaches for my wrists, wants to sit on skin
like mist upon a hill. It is the same wet thing
that weathers me. It clouds, quietly, inside a
place I cannot name. Such territory, the body.
Often we seem to be visitors within its walls.
As in, who knew you could hurt like that, little
heart? Anyway, someone else has to teach the
wind not to be lonely. I have been preoccupied,
learning what to do with the multitude of myself.
I am thinking of less harmful ways to be alone.
So far, the plot is going terribly bad. Even the
music is some kind of knife. It doesn’t wound,
but it unwinds the wound. I know one thing is
certain—I do not deserve my sadness. Forget
the theory that the humble would never proclaim
their humility. I am a good man. But we must
be foolish if we think, just for our goodness,
the world must offer us any mercy. The wine
that poisons the ghoul will poison the saint.
And I think, in spite of the bluntness, it is fair.
Samuel A. Adeyemi is a writer and editor from Nigeria. A Best of the Net Nominee and Pushcart Nominee, he is the winner of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize 2021. His manuscript was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set, 2022. His works have appeared in Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, 580 Split, Strange Horizons, Agbowo, Isele Magazine, Brittle Paper, Jalada, and elsewhere.
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