Thus the hours are marinaded
Thus the hours have become soused
Thus the hours are wet sand
Too thick to stream
Down the lower half of the glass.
This is the 35th chapter of wormwood
Two thousand years bitterer
Than the passion that wound up
On a knoll of skulls
And the ululation of my heart, it
Will not give in
I hold my breath rather than sigh
This is the 35th century of hyssop, and, no
Tolu, I shan’t commend you to another’s caress.
From what perch, what palm, what
Last vantage on ransacked plain
Doesn’t the horizon receding seem? But
One must keep stalking, hoping
Slide and drop down the pitfall it will, and
I shall tumble after you.
Thus the hours have become saltless
Thus the hours have become stiff
Thus the hours are ageless mounds of clay
And what shall trigger a deluge to drive them:
Mammy Wata versus Zik and the Niger Bridge,
Or waters from the conch
Of the deutero-mythmakers?
Benson Eluma, born in Isale-Ake, Abeokuta, grew up in Lagos. He holds a BA (Combined Honours) in Communication, Language Arts and Classics and an MA in African Studies (Anthropology option), both from the University of Ibadan. An independent researcher and freelance copy-editor, he consults for a couple of NGOs in Ibadan and Abuja.