by Tolu Ogunlesi
The streets are empty and full of longing.
potholes take deep breaths,
and wardens and traffic booths lean kindly
against each other, sharing
On these famished roads
traffic lights blink in disbelief,
tempted to scream. These
are streets that mourn,
and billboards reduced
to philosophical placards:
Is this city the space,
Or the people?
Which came first – the road?
Or the journey?
Tonight’s journey will end in the house
of God, where the pews will pant beneath
the mounting weight of expectant celebrants
for whom the coming year is another new road,
hidden from sight by a treacherous bend.
All the surviving minutes of this dying year
are like cars piling up on that road,
bathed in the hopeful glow of a million headlights.
There is a checkpoint ahead. It is on the other side of midnight.
First appeared in Kunapipi, Vol XXXI, No 1 (2010), University of Wollongong, Australia