Death as a make-up artist | Poetry

'Kúnlé Adébàjò
2 min readApr 5, 2020
Photo by Gratisography from Pexels

When, last week, the dreaded angel visited Balo
He came with his moisturiser and foundation
Death
As he often does,
Brought his concealer and mascara

And though his concrete skull had prostrated on the highway
As a humble Yoruba suitor pacifying his in-laws
Though, on Friday, when what remained of his frame
Was fed to the soil’s salivating jaws
The pervading stench mocked all defences erected against it

Reflected in the sea of memories
Echoed in the chambers of eulogies
Balo has become attractive; drop-dead gorgeous
Unrecognisable

Balo!
Alias Balotelli
— alias Big Bullet
— alias Gbalagbala
Balo who was not content stealing money from banks
And innocence from freshmen at the polytechnic downtown
But devoured virginity from teenagers
As lustfully as Pacman did the dots

Balo, whose pistol was a talkative
Always quarreling with the peace of the town
Always poking the hearts of men, young and old,
Whose names have no home in Balo’s good books

Balo, whose machete was a restless choreographer
That spent as many hours in the skin of men
As it did on God’s soil
And washed cleaned the blood of a former host
With the blood of a new one

Balo, whose name rained thunder in the hearts
Of those who spoke and heard and thought it

He has become born-again since Death’s visit
His scars blurred, then banished
His once bloodshot eyes now flowing with milk

He was not the worst of his people, they said
He was not that bad, they said
He was a good man, they said

‘Em balonies!

Dear Supreme Deity,
Please call your angel to order
The scythe is enough to get the job done
Isn’t adding an eyeliner a bit too much?

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'Kúnlé Adébàjò

An arcless half-a-wise-guy who happens to write. All you need to know is at: www.kunleadebajo.com.