By Nurain Ọládèjì

A child’s need to be chased, to hide and be found

time and again, is why my father is the ghost stalking

my dreams. When I was a child, hunting for

where to hide and wait for my friends to seek,

I found, inside an abandoned yard with

an unfinished building, a hole in the ground.


Something I do not know stopped me from jumping,

slowed me to stop at its edge and crane

my neck to watch the hole sink deeper, till I saw

ripples as the pebbles my feet had kicked touched

the water. Later, when my friends found me elsewhere,

I did not make a point of how I could have won this

game by ending it. I was named after a grieving lover

who then married his dead lover’s sister, and on this

basis earned the title of The Bearer of Double Lights.


And when, again, his new lover died, he must have

learnt that some lights are not bound by affection

to enliven man. When my father named me, he could not

have imagined that each of our worlds would be as

committed to resisting a convergence, he could not have

known that, naming me, he was only renaming himself.


Nurain Ọládèjì is a writer and reluctant resident of Lagos, Nigeria. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry WalesOlongo AfricaTransitionAcumen, and elsewhere.