Taiye is lying naked in my bed.
I must have pulled the duvet too close from habit and left her uncovered. My first instinct was to cover her so she didn’t catch a cold, but I stopped myself.
I wanted to drink in the beauty that is her body, the hills and hillocks, the clefts and valleys. Looking at her I remembered a book I saw last year at Terra Kulture – A Woman’s Body Is A Country by Dami Ajayi.
I was intrigued by the title even though poetry is not my thing but to pass time while I waited for a client, I started reading the poems inside. I liked how evocative his poetry was, especially the titular poem, so I bought a copy for Chi who loved the collection so much so that one evening she dragged me to what she said was a book reading somewhere in Ilupeju where we finally met the poet, Dami Ajayi who after reading and taking questions, autographed the book for her.
On our way home, Chi was so happy at having met the poet that for the first time in my life, I wished I was a writer. And so, whenever I wanted us to make love I would say “Chi, come show me your country.”
But that was not even her favourite poem in the collection. Her favourite was a short pem with the scary title – “My love for you is psychosis.”
Chi used to go about the house reciting it and when I asked whether she didnt think psychotic love was a bad thing, she said “Dude when you love a human it should be all or nothing. True love should be psychotic.”
I didn’t agree with her but on her birthday, the last one before she left, I had memorized the poem and that evening as my apartment buzzed with guests, I called for calm and standing in the middle recited the poem in full:
My Love For You Is Psychosis
When fantasies pale in the light of memory,
my love for you is psychosis.
This gridlock is a blacksmith’s forge.
This love, this anvil, this fulcrum.
This splurge, this spring welled up
like a burst pipe-line.
This forlorn poet, this failed academic,
this fumbling minstrel, this futility.
When we measure our love in metres,
this is what it equates to:
contrast, similes, metaphors, quotidian realities.
My love for you is psychosis
Chi was in tears by the time I finished and I knew that even though I did not write the poem myself, I had given her a gift no one ever would.
After I had drunk in Taiye’s beauty, I covered her up then went to the bathroom to pee and brush. Done, I made tea then sat outside on the balcony to catch the early morning sun.
I checked my emails and social media feed. There was a post from WebMD comparing the symptoms of the common cold and flu to Covid-19. I read through and shared with my sister, Aramide and Taiye.
I was taking the mug and saucer to the kitchen when Taiye came out naked.
“You didnt wake me up,” she said stretching, her boobs jiggling
“You looked like you wanted to sleep,” I said as we kissed. “There’s still tea and I warmed some cake,”
“Yummy,’ she said clapping her hands in mock excitement but as I walked into the kitchen, Taiye took the plates from me, placed them in the sink and hopping on the marble wrapped her legs around me.
“Come have some real food,” she said with a wink as she raised both legs to my shoulders, her sex exposed to me.
“This woman, you are going to kill me,” I said, running my finger from her tummy down past her light fuzz to her wetness.
“Bend the knee, my liege,” she commanded, so I knelt down and buried my head in between her thighs.
“That shit made me hungry, who taught you to eat a woman like that?” Taiye asked as she ate cake. She was stll naked but sitting legs folded under her.
“Shut up, woman and eat. You ask too many questions,” I said hushing her.
We watched an episode of Queen Sono and then showered.
While Taiye was in her apartment getting a change of clothes, I called my kids. Aramide picked.
“You can’t speak to them, Zeal,” she said when I asked her to put them on the line.
“They were fighting so I asked them to go to their rooms. They are on time-out. I will call you when their time is up.”
“You sure you don’t want me to speak to them?”
“No Zeal, I don’t want to run to you every time they misbehave.”
“Aramide, you are not running to me. I am their father.”
“I know and I understand but lemme handle this, okay?”
Okay,” I said. “Tell them I called.”
“Did you see the article I sent you?” I asked when Taiye got back in. She was wearing a tee shirt over a long sleeves less dress that showed ample side boobs.
“Which one boo?” she asked, settling on my lap.
“Tips on what to do if someone living with you has Covid-19.”
“Oh I did and I found it problematic,” she said sounding like Chi who always had to analyse everything.
“That was a very bourgeois article. How is the guy living in a face-me-i-face-you going to designate a separate room or use a different bathroom? Man, this shit is going to kill lots of people in this country, especially in those crowded areas.”
“That’s some heavy stuff, woman,” I said hugging her to myself.
“Sorry boo. My dad called this morning, though,” she said, turning to look at me.
“I hope he is okay.”
“They are fine.”
“So, what’s up with the strange look?” I asked pushing her gently off me and turning her so she was sitting and facing me.
“I am British by birth. They are asking me to evacuate when the time comes,” she said. ” They say infections are going to spike.”
“And are you?” I asked.
“Me, evacuate and leave this sweet D for another woman?”
“Taiye, be serious.,” I said.
“I am serious, man, I ain’t going nowhere bruv,” she said and snuggled up to me. “ I ain’t going nowhere.
We lapsed into companionable silence for a while and then she picked up the remote and we resumed our Queen Soro.
Continues tomorrow – Edited by Toni Kan