A Wedding for the Death of Heartbreak (2023)

It was strange.
Me and my lover sat side by side watching the TV. Shrouded by a cloudy darkness.
Then there was not TV, there was only this new immersive reality.

It was another dimension, most definitely.

There were two sets of people; each group was facing each other, like the opposite of musical chairs, as they were also all sitting down.
It was a Bollywood film, set in a British Colonial environment. The presence of the British was not stifling, as much as it had become part of the oxygen that they breathed.
They sat uncomfortable, but used to the discomfort.
Two Sets. At the same time. All around the same age. Possible 15 in each row. Two groups of two rows. Possibly 60 altogether. Both genders – as the antiquity of Christianity understood it.

Then one young lady, in the group on the left, arose. Went into the center of her group, and began to dance. She was nervous, and maybe even appearing timid – despite the spine of steel needed to have the courage – and yet danced with a softly clumsy elegance; soon she was sure in her cultural traditions. Was the timid beginnings due to the oppressive colonial presence?
Who knows. But she declared her want of freedom central; and then a lover joined her.

He was tall and zealous with his gestures; his modern and very quick footwork, almost confusing her more traditional and timely steps.

She seemed to move with the wind and he seemed to dance on the fire; he danced around her in circles. Besotted and unable to let her go.
She was surprised, and a little confused for why would anyone want to join her in this lonely dance?

And then she understood and remembered who he was and who she was, at the exact same time I did.

This was a wedding of the dead.
Lovers departed by death reunited once again.

The guilt of dying subsided for her, as the euphoria of finally joining her electrified through the air – the frequencies and the atoms changing subtly and then quickly.

They had found each other at last.

And then I looked to my own Lover, and said “That’s so cute”. He grunts in agreement.
We kiss, as if to mimic the finding that these two Lovers experience.

Our tongues feathery, as if each little touch is enough to satisfy this new found eternity.

It was his grandparents.

At least now I understood why one would wish to die, especially when they are the lover softly clumsily left behind.

And at this very same time, we both agreed to no longer tether them to this life but to allow them to go on dancing, right into the night.

About this work

A Wedding for the Death of Heartbreak was inspired by a dream Akanbi had about a lover’s grandfather who was crossing over to the other side. Akanbi has often had an intimate relationship with death, something they grappled with during the pinnacle of their years as a Christian. Having embraced Ifa and other nature-based spiritual practices and philosophies, Akanbi finds now that their connection with the dead and death is a positive one.

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