Finally I am awake. I bite my lips, tell myself nobody died.
Yesterday four men strangled him in my dream. Yesterday
We slid through the creek and it was he who fell into Osun

Was drowning.  I
Have tried to love him so, like an overwhelming thing. Alone he drowns.
From below my abdomen, his legs grow in silence. Then his big black hands.

His laughter varnishes against my face. Every morning he asks me
why I laugh in my sleep. A strange thing I am a third of Baba Adépòjù’s
Generation of Sleepwalkers.

In his dream my daddy professed love to my mother, and in his dream he
Walked her down a long, lonely isle. In his dream my grandfather anoints 

Himself with Tùràrí. He separates, calls, himself.
The life we want we want and own from a dream state.
In a dream I look for Isaac in Osun. 

I search blindly, feel for his hands,
While the water carries us apart. It is he who is lovelorn.
It is he who hangs from a fan in June.  It is he
Whom I love cruelly. Beauty encroaches him. 

His face cold. His palms a centripetal slough. Our street an
amphitheatre. Every passing thing watches him. My father too Who says so
Much dying goes in the family. Overhead the cloud darkens a
Little. Darkens to his hue. In a field
He becomes the absence of field

A grace

he thrived to this day. In his
Dreams he dies. The audience
Raise their palms in the amphitheatre, clap. Nobody sees the
But along he prances. Overhead, crows circle the spire—
Their chests white, soft, like bone.

A Student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ilé-Ifè, Isaiah Adepoju is an aspiring poet and novelist. A two -time shortlistee of the Ken Saro Wiwa Prize for Review, recipient of HIASFEST Star Prize, and a winner of 2022 Lagos-London Poetry Competition. A fellow of UNDERTOW Poetry Fellowship, London, he reads for Adroit Journal, and his debut novel is forthcoming in 2023 from Abibiman, UK.