Today, the dead and the living have chosen to mourn each other.
]This poem was written in 2005, for the victims of the Bellview Airlines flight which crashed Oct. 22, 2005 in Lisa village, Ogun State, Nigeria, killing all 117 people on board.
(For Bellview, October 2005)
by Tolu Ogunlesi
Pick your way bravely through a cross
word-puzzle of split-open luggage
and split-open bodies
and see how high your kites
of fortitude will soar before crashing.
Death is a misleading mess
-enger. If I have stretched farther
than life or logic, she sings,
it is because I stand
atop the shoulders of eternity.
Today, the dead and the living have chosen
to mourn each other.
Even the dead dream of death
and leave the living to awaken
and confront the sequels.
To make a strong perfume,
mix the stench of Lisa
with the memories of her entombed,
and pressurize it with the madness
of grief. Spray it, simultaneously
from all one hundred
and seventeen corners of Nigeria, till
the ozone darkens into a permanent pall,
till death immolates herself by asphyxiation.