that year, you gave me your heart
and I gave you mine.
It was an exchange; heart for heart;
soul for soul.
The day was February 13,
a day before the world marked its own love.
It had to be that day.
For, our own love would help light lanterns
in hearts devoid of love’s lucid light.
It was underneath that palm tree,
beside the crystal clear stream that swam into the River Awelewa (River of beauties),
that we first took our oaths.
The Sun had intensely kissed green leaves
and they smiled at the delight of his lips;
warm, luscious, lively, fizzy;
tender and soft like freshly baked bread.
It was from him that I learnt the way around your lips;
It was he who taught me how to navigate the crooks and the bends.
He showed me a fire that burns
but never destroys.
Remember how we burnt together?
How we swam desirously in the lake of fire
produced by our intense passion?
It was the gentle current of affection
keeping us afloat in Love’s lake of fire.
It was upon the black earth on which that palm tree built its castle
that we first saw the color of each other’s heart.
Mine was red and yours white.
They were the colors that would come with the day that followed the day our exchange took place.
My red heart is firmly fitted in the white bossom behind your immaculate breasts
and yours is in the red home behind
this sturdy chest of mine.
I write this to put you in remembrance
that we must never come apart.
For, we both bore each other’s soul
while the Sun gently serenaded green leaves.
we must never come apart.
For, our hearts are intertwined.
Your beat is my beat.
My beat is your beat.
I know 30 years have breezed past us now
and we have enjoyed such heavenly bliss.
But, a little reminder would do no harm.
Happy anniversary to us Àwèrò!
I, Dáúdù òré aláso (friend of the cloth-maker),
love you with all my heart!