I Sing of Rivers (for ẹlẹ́yẹlé and Asejìrẹ́)

Kayode Ayobami


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River does not discriminate;


i fetch the breath of ẹlẹ́yẹlé 

into my palms, offer it a 

Haven in the corner of a 

Slave’s mouth. 


It’s the same breath from

the pigeon’s river that brings 

Rhythm to the throat of a 



Water is medicine—Aṣèjìrẹ́

Knows one or two things 

Of how thirst drown in its



She knows about rejuvenation 

Of  Faded skin, of tired and 

Cracked bodies crying for 

a new energy. 


Oh Rivers! What are you 

Without your seaweed and 

Giant water lily crown? 

What’s this city if it makes 

Enemy out of you? 

Kayode Ayobami

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Kayode is an African literature enthusiast, interested in Academics and Yorùbá translation. His works have been published or forthcoming in konya shamsrumi, echelon, icefloepress, Olongo, Àtẹ́lẹwọ́, New note, isele, fieryscribe, Kalahari, Ake review, South Florida and elsewhere. He tweets @KayodeAyobamii