LASSENCE


Lassence (Lagos Essence)


Tightly woven circuits of bareboned homes and gold-studded houses,
A never-ending continuum of blighted and trenched roads;
Yellow-black striped buses roaring through streets, backroads, expresses,
Hawkers staggering, back-bent under the bulgy weight of intense suffering.
Oh, dear me, tell me you perceive the Lassence!

Spindly, sharp-moving feet over people-drunk tarmacs,
Ripped, steam-pumping brains under weltering sun,
Slashed, down-turned brows perched above sunken cheeks,

Vehicles locking horned bumpers like angered buffalows;
Cradling screaming passengers in their cramped bellies;
sardine-can ovens called danfo buses.
Oh, do tell me you feel the Lassence already!

A disparaged city, rocking drunkenly on murky waters,
citizens pushing carts and robbing banks with razor-sharp ties,
children roaming and rummaging for scrap bones to satiate distended bellys,
dreams and hopes expelled from cracked lips to be snagged on powerless electric poles.
Surely, surely, you feel the Lassence now?

No?

Well turn your eyes to the drainage systems; swamped with odious substances that take knives to your sinuses,
Tune your ears to the banging music emanating from never-sleeping clubs,
Seat your tongue on the colourful palettes of local cuisine.

Dance your gaze to unsolicited wall etchings;
"POST NO BILLS!"
"SALESBOY/SALESGIRL NEEDED"
"CALL 080K1DNAPPER FOR JOB OPPORTUNITY!"
"FORGANIZER HERE!"

Alas, you taste it now, don't you?
this energy, this wild animal—called Lassence—that runs free in eko (Lagos);
the land of razor-edge senses.
Ogungbade Gabriel is a poet, an award winning scriptwriter, and a digital marketer.
The gluttonous reader resides in Lagos, Nigeria, where he wanders freely and writes tirelessly. He is currently working on his debut short film which is yet to be titled. An afro-futurism novel titled Obscura. And has over a dozen of short stories under his belt.


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