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Damilola Ajayi



Damilola Ajayi

Ajayi is a medical student. He lives in Ibafo, Nigeria.


  Clinical Blues


Sing me a song
not from your larynx
probe deep
deeper into lungs,
the recesses of your soul
I am a lonesome observer,
the clinical sentinel     
who sits still to wage
wars against infirmities
And your organic sax
plunges snot and sounds
into my drink of patience
the truth is eerie, tall
like swabs of heavy winds
Bored purveyor!
where lies your magic
your medicine of
doses and regimen
that mount eternal
wars against Hypnos
The blip of an ailing heart
tolls a symphony of symptoms
but I'm no open chest surgeon
for I'm a jazz pianist
With little stint with blood
The morbid applause of the gut
claps of bilious thunder
in the economy of sound
music is found
in scribbles,
in slow latent dribbles
drops and drips
beams of ray scamper
as life shudder into light
and souls slip into purgatory



I know clinical meetings,
Not where doctors wage
Wars against like with literature,
But where diseases wield
Their many forms in a game
Of hide and sick
I know clinical sittings,
Where humans are hors d’oeuvre
To refresh the palates of HIV,
TB and other invited guests
I know clinical beatings
Where patients are restrained facedown,
Where ignorance and other microorganisms,
Patiently whip men into coma
And onlookers use peeping-tom microscopes
To witness death’s hospitality
I know clinical heavens
Where the hopes of doctors
Levitate when they die.



This too shall pass…
This hurt that grips and quakes
And swirls your being,
The orgasm of nine moons and
Many lethargic mornings,
Evenings pathognomonic of Pica
Shall not go without saying…
As mother earth unfurls her palms to
Relieve you of your burden
Of joy, this organic almond shall trash
About reluctant, as always lachrymose.
Your knees and knuckles shall clench
As pain takes its first bite.
Your back shall know a bed
But no peace.
Your orifices shall
 Become harmonicas of dis-cord-ance
And apologies shall not suffice.
It’s no matter that you are
Inducted by a transition
With tears, blood, tear and more blood
As dues, libations trickling
Down the antiseptic terrazzo.
A belch meets a first cry.
And it shall come to pass.



(For Sylva)
Split milk is milk
None. The. Less
But what is the worth
Of milk that has lost its salt?
Wishful Drinking
My milk has spilled everywhere:
Lecture theatres, Cadaver rooms
Hospital wards, Operating rooms
Like unbreakable plates,
Fresbies for six-year olds.
Improvisation is the new impoverishment
Nouns; Close-Substitutes
Thesaurus; Alternative Forgone
Feel for the nation’s thready pulse
In the hand of a child with rice-and-water stool
Quiescence replaces hypovolemia
But obviously still SHOCKs
Doctors wield wide bore cannula
Plastic pistols don’t repair tissues
The clinical truth is Post-Mortem
At least we can lie that we tried.



(For Wale)
Three hearty cheers
To the registrar who gave
Rave morning reviews
At the sitting of grey
Obstetricians and medical students
Who warmed his bed and beer table.
Bleary eyes are smoke gray tints
That contradicts the pulsatile discharge
Of lingoes. For last night, only last night,
We all were basking in wafts of nicotine
Smoke and thumping loud music,
Wetting throats per anointed lager
Medicos, the lowest rung of clinical cadre.
We give standing ovations. For
This is our main vocation. Empty heads
Don’t give what they don’t have.
Nemo quod non habet.
The clinic is full of expectant missed periods,
Gravid uteri awaiting time, abating term
Time that expedites doctors,
Doctors that glorify Leopold…
All eyes fix on the clock that
Slowly ticks the end of day
The sweet welcome of night,
The tolling of bells.
All good days end in brotherly
Communion at Sinner’s Chapel.

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