Two Poems by Samuel Oluwatobi Olatunji

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

The Day was Night for a Nigga in Soweto

I breathed down there
In the dregs of this township
Conversing with walls and bottles of beer
Walls whose unpainted skin wore the scribbling of my dreams
Bottles whose liquid softened the soaring sorrow in my head

Optimistically, I sought light
I put my hands into my torn denim jeans
And walked down the whitewashed street
Giving shapes to my dreams
Punctuating my prayers

A Benz almost broke my legs
“Look where ya go, dead nigga!”
A white boy that looked like me spat into my face

Then I realized that the day was too dark
For the sun to whiten my black skin


The Girl is Dead

You are not that girl
With eyes that could erase the wrinkles of weary
From fagged-out faces

That girl
With leaping laughter gushing from the hole in her teeth
Into the hollow of sorrowful souls

She died under the pummeling presence
Of that sex-starved soldier
Whose duty is to protect people like her

Now I only see a strolling skeleton
Trying to make sense out of this space of spontaneous sadness

Photo of Samuel Olatunji

Photo of Samuel Olatunji

Samuel Oluwatobi Olatunji is the Assistant Managing Editor of Expound. He has been published in a number of journals, magazines, anthologies and blogs such as Black Heart Magazine, Black Communion (Poets of the New African Poets), Rolling Thunder Quarterly, Footmarks: Poems on One Hundred Years of Nigeria’s Nationhood and elsewhere. He is the co-editor of The Rape of Death, an anthology of poems. Currently, he is studying English at University of Lagos, Nigeria. You can follow him on Twitter: @Mr_Samitude