One Who Wears Darkness as Cloth by Sanni Omodolapo

One who wears darkness as cloth

mother is fishing for        light in the murky waters of her

body                she plucks stars from the sky & hides them

behind her eyes, slices part of the moon &              keeps it

under her threadbare wrapper.         even if she does have

light,       she  mustn’t       show    it   because        father   is

photophobic,         very   sensitive   to light,      &     she    is

unworthy-        light   is  for  humans,       she  is  not   one.

mother is a owl in the night that is her life,              lone &

tired.                  look, in father’s eyes, every time his hand

raises to weave her body             into a basket full of dead

things    what lies there, feral, is            an expectation, an

eagerness  to uncover  hidden  things shrouded  in  light,

paradoxical   in nature.     happiness is sour on  mother’s

palate &        peace is the foreign subject of a cold, distant

god,             &   speaking the language of love is a trick her

tongue has not mastered,         yet others wonder why she

hates sugar & watermelons.           see, mother is a strange

woman:          her body has made love with pain      & now

carries its babies.            the name in her birth certificate is

pain written in dust & outlined with tears.         gouge her

eyes      out  if   you    doubt  this   &  hand   them   each   a

microphone,        tell them to sing all the songs they know.

it’ll be onions & smoke, I promise.


Sanni Omodolapo is a Nigerian writer, who is fascinated by the uncanny things language—if well engineered—is capable of. He writes poetry and prose. His works have been published/are forthcoming in Giallo, Ngiga Review, Agbowo, and The African Writers Review. He is openly in love with Teju Cole. 

Banner: Dancer, a digital collage by Robert Frede Kenter Tweets: (2) RobertFredeKenter (@frede_kenter) / Twitter

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