Two Poems By Kehinde Badiru

Building a Home on the frames of a Budweiser

Last night, luck finally seemed to find a place for you,
You and your crush had your first kiss, streamed Taylor Swift
And discussed how your favorite beer ferried
you home last week — 5th day in a weekly row.
You discussed so many things — offering your souls to
the palace of bottles, closed piercings on your laughter
And dreams you have kept in a suitcase, and no case.
You became chefs — baking your future, baking a house,
so you will fall into a home.
Then, both of you became bottles, brewing your emotions
as you become a home, standing on the frames of a Budweiser.
Tomorrow, you will go to the 7th Avenue — that place where
your crush first crushed you. Both of you will do no serious thing/s,
you will listen to Luther Vandross’s
“Make Me a Believer” knowing
you both can’t be believers — your destinies
are tied to bottles of beers; you will
never believe the beauty of empty bottles.

Winning a Quiz in a Lagos Beer Parlour

Again, we don’t believe
that things can once again find equilibrium.
We cry for how much things have fallen
apart here, in this nation — how everything betrays you.
We become mad without being certified madmen,
from congested days, encounters with drunk drivers,
thumping voices which usher us
into the most popular beer parlour
on Allen Avenue.
To the beer parlour we go for answers,
only to be faced with a quiz.
To win a quiz in a Lagos bar,
start with the concepts in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto,
order for another bottle of Gulder, and watch how
your opponents hail you till you are drunk,
only to be driven home in the Uber you
cursed you would never ride in.

Kehinde Badiru is a poet, writer and editor. He is the author of Street of Goats and Never Look a Nigerian in the Eye. Kehinde teaches Creative Writing, and is the Editor-in-chief of WriteNow Literary Journal. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria, and freelances as an editor, writer, and book/cover page designer. Kehinde can be found on Twitter at @Kehindebadiru_.

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