loss gives a boy a new identitygrief calls you by your name; it knows you, you’re from its lineage—your loss had signed the pact.
when grief calls you, you answer—you’re broken, not for salvation but for plunder.
grief carries your body into its thistly orifice. you bleed, you shrivel in whispers and sometimes in shrieks.
the world piggybacks stacks of ruins already,
so it applies deafness to the sounds your deterioration emits.
still, curse not the world, deafness is an action too anyways.
i don’t know the complexion draped over your scabby skin
but there’s a threadbare cloth donned on it— your exemplification for a treasure.
i know you club morals in the pocket of the man close by to smear warmth on your tapeworms—
loss gives a boy a new identity, this boy must survive.
when others call mother, do you hear murder?
a walkway to how death murdered your colourful mother.
when others call father, do you hear farther?
a walkway to how your father failed trying to run farther than death on that bed he faded slowly into obscurity.
some homophones are just swings for rememberance,
like hurt & hot, like hole & whole
i want to ask her which of the god’s body. i know it’s sango, i swear, there’s a boy in
my lover said my body looks like a god’s
the corridor of my head— a monument of grief dangling on the cashew tree beside
my father’s house.
my lover’s body carries a shelf of serenades— a balsam for my loss.
love kisses me with its vulnerability each time it clasps my body,
like i know this ritual will end someday—my hope for love is hopeless.
also, it seems my body is repulsive to beautiful things—
the first girl i lost the nacres in my palms to later deserted me and raped boys,
for her body grew into a babel of raw languages,
and i became a stutterer of every language she wanted.
the night is singing me an aubade,
and my lover is standing with me like a mother’s ghost drapes over her broken son.
she’s telling me she swallows tomorrow,
and every day is today with her.
i swear, i’ll be sango if she leaves me amidst a wreath of brokenness
Glossary : Sango is the name of the Yoruba’s god of thunder who hanged himself on a tree at Koso.
Pentecosteverything i love always plunges a bayonet into my memory.
before your body folded into a battered identity,
we broke our dreams often
and every fragment moors a sparkle.
the air chests a portfolio with many responsibilities—
we didn’t know talebearing is one of them—
we didn’t know it’d ferry our ashrine conversations to death’s alcove.
why does death dismembers colourful things?
what the news spilled was;
fire outbreak in a highway
as twenty passengers die.
this is just a reincarnation of the pentecost
but men didn’t speak in tongues but speak of terrors & exits.
Ifenaike Michael Ayomipo is a young writer whose works have been published or are forthcoming on The Quills, The Transit Lit Magazine, Naija Mad Hotstars, My Woven Poetry, Inkspired, Ngiga, Ebo Quills and others. He hails from Ogun State, Odogbolu, although he lives in Lagos State where he catches his muse. He’s a promising educationist with robust dreams. He’s a Stan of Ademule Ghandi.
Banner: Craft Dinner, (c) 2021. A painting by Josie Vie.
Josie Vie is just a soul passing through. She resides in Quebec, Canada.