Elegy in which I am bidding everything adieu — A Poem by Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò

Nov 7, 2021

Inverse Journal presents these haunting verses by emerging Nigerian poet Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò, in a poem that attempts to seek distance from the lingering grief caused by death. In the poem, the young poet and Mass Communications student reveals the passing of his friend “who committed suicide this year”, the death of his “grandmother in 2017” and “the gruesome extrajudicial killing of Chibok girls from the Eastern part of Nigeria by Boko Haram.” As the poet states, “Elegy in which I am bidding everything adieu” is a poem “of many grievances, one I may not do away with for years.”

Elegy in which I am bidding everything adieu

There are many things here sentenced
to death, like this poem set ablaze from its
belly button—all stanzas and lines
harbouring despondency. I say adieu
to Jude who distanced his soul from his
body far beyond what a doctor could reach
and fit back into him, leaving us at the cervix
of his grave for earth to embrace our tears like
raindrops. I say adieu to my grandmother who
was undone by palsy—her body was too fatigued
of being shaky and uncontrollable like a house
quivered by the tyranny of a tornado. I say adieu
to the Chibok girls whose skulls were sanguined by
pebbles pelted from the fingertips of terrorists—
twinned from their mothers. I say adieu to the bliss
of a boy who is waterboarded by weltschmerz, still
breathing only from a wounded hope. I say adieu
to daddies thumped into oblivion on the road, their
guts approximated to the barest minimum by trucks.
I say adieu to the next poet blemished by grief I am
going to spam. Adieu, adieu, adieu, adieu…

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About the Contributor

Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò is an emerging writer and a student of Mass Communication. He is a social activist who is passionate about inequality, politics, domestic violence, and child rights. His works have appeared or forthcoming on Brittle Paper, Rough Cut Press, Poetry Column ND, Rigorous Magazine, Afreecan Read, Ice Floe Press, Lunaris Review, Salamander Ink, Eremite Poetry, Mixed Mag, Ninsha Arts, Arts Lounge, Ngiga Review, Nanty Greens, and African Magazine. He is the August winner of PIN-10 DAY POETRY and has been shortlisted in BPPC June/July Anthology. In his leisure time, he is either writing, reading or binge-watching cartoons.