Niyi Osundare

Tender Moment

And you smile your big-cheeked smile,

Your eye breaking out of your face

Like the sun through the mist

Of a young and ancient dawn;

Your lips play around the base

Of your teeth,

A laughter erupts, fresh

As the frothy song of a mountain stream

Finding rippling echoes

In the hard-soft depth of unseen things

And the fable of inchoate showers

Which tease the thighs of sprawling fancies

Your eyes memorize the hours,

Stretch dry moments into succulent eternities

Then run them d-e-e-p

Like the Zambesi of our rooted longings

You are the fragrance

Which lends a name to varnished gardens,

The door which hums the chronicle

Of the house…

And so you said:

Let us go behind the walls

And I will show you

The birthmark below my navel”