february flower is not for love

on February 14, 2023
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        - Ọ̀dọ́jà 

The horticulturist says February is for flower
Not for love, so I go into the field
In search of plant I once dreamt of
Until I find it, and touch and burn and soften 
under the fire pump of its flamy fingers,
And not  a metal can hold 
The frame of this body I call mine. 
February is for ballad not for lullabies 
She says, and so I go into the street
Listening to the podcast of lovers singing 
Ballads to their men, giving them lilies as their eyes
Dilate and there is enough road to go into 
Darkness of desire towards a place I call home. 
Even as I know much of what is called 
Plantery beauty is a world wearing carbon make up,
Yet I learn a love poem with flowers in it is half-successful,
An earth with a flower still has breath.

Salawu Olajide is a Nigerian poet and the Managing Editor of OlongoAfrica.