Shayo by Tolu Fowowe


When you’re two bottles deep,
and you begin to feel that trap door
sliding open from underneath you,
Maybe, begin to say maybe,
Maybe pacing yourself will serve better
than screaming “Shapiru, Shapiru!” at the
very top of your lungs as you hold firmly to
bottle number three, ice-cold but sweating just as profusely as it’s wielder.

Maybe begin to look ahead,
Maybe don’t ignore the signs of
chronic, liver burning drunkenness from
whoever first ever craved your indulgence.
Don’t ignore him, look! Look at him,
Your shaman and guide, half naked, dancing atop the counter on a Wednesday evening.

Maybe whatever feels good today
may not feel especially good tomorrow and
One more drink could be the difference between a good day and a great one.

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.