I woke on my knees,

thirsty for conversation,

but could not read God’s lips

in the darkness of my room.

I interrogated dawn.

The sun still had a

sleep mask on.

I asked what fortune

had in its hands—

she asked me to wait

for the surprise hidden in 

the back pocket of the day.

This map I hold

in my hand is a dream—

the terrain is chameleon.

I feel safer in the grave

of time, where the hours

do not sing

in unknown tongues,

for as a child I do not know

which foot to put first—still I go,

one hesitant step after the other.

Jide Badmus is an engineer, a poet inspired by beauty and destruction; he believes that things in ruins were once beautiful. He is the author of There is a Storm in my Head; Scripture; Paper Planes in the Rain; Paradox of Little Fires; Silk Psalms; and Anatomy of the Sun (and everything beneath). Obaluaye is forthcoming with Flowersong Press in 2022. He has a Pushcart Prize nomination. Badmus has curated and edited several anthologies such as Vowels Under Duress; Coffee; Today, I Choose Joy; and How to Fall in Love. He is the founder of INKspiredNG, Poetry Editor for Con-scio Magazine, and sits on the board of advisors for Libretto Magazine. Jide writes from Lagos, Nigeria. He tweets @bardmus