Volume 32, Number 4

Liberté, Abidjan

Liberté is another name for loss or where anything goes to loss. Is where every new
Morning exclaims a new mourning. Is where the bright watching orbs
Of streetlights at night approve the nightmares of pilferers.
Is where
Every leg is an express delivery: the conscience is exploited and
Movement is a calculated sense of alertness
And body’s semiotic accessories: a frowned face and
A ready fist and an unusually clutch over your baggage. Is where a smart boy once lost his
Smart-phone and a crippled mother was finished by hit and run.
Is impious: a man was
Murdered in front of a cathedral. Is where a rifle’s response is not surprising.
Is (where) everybody’s experience (d): where you hold yourself (completely recoiled into your skin),
Your life and everything.
Is a piece of advice in the bus. Is where you are advised.
Is where at other days the patrol vehicle strips you of respect: ragged or corporate.
Is where the taxi-man must wind up the side glasses half-up in the jam or be damned.
Is liberty stereotyped.
Is where I overheard was named after the massacre during the civil war.
Is the irony I have learnt and the calling-off every haunting memory of loss
As freedom.

—Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola