on being broken / like shards of withered glass / my body

repels every music its soul makes / i close every door i

can’t walk back through / by this i mean i keep memories

in a box of cigar / god tells me i am a chapel / god tells

me a compendium of broken birds are falling from the

sky in my eyes / i am a field blessed with dead boys /

or memories of them singing to me / my spirit is toxic

with vapour / maybe the sun undresses its wounds before

me / maybe the moon man is truly my dead grandpa / they

say forgiveness comes from the space between my palms

but in this poem / god hides his face beneath my mother’s

portraitures / because my body is an asylum / you come

to ask if i am a safe place / god tells me to say no / say

this city is too small to house a country / or turbulence




is that every flower

takes the shape of a coffin

& your brown body lays

perfectly tucked in it


an orchestra of birds

play the mourning

into music.


at the back yard,

you take the spade

from your brother

& dig your home.




while we pray, a black bird pours itself

into a sea & god sees how the cathedral is maimed

& god hears the bird drowning in an airtight sky full of light

& we shine godlessly with a mouthful of people falling

& prayer means to us that no hope remains in our fathers’ pocket

& we are sleepless birds hunting strands of light in fireplaces

& here in our bodies, we become valleys of dried bones

& the ghost of someone’s mother comes half-rented

like the cathedral where the bomb met us

wears broken crown with bullet ridden gown into the room

where we stay morphed— where we are in a sky casting away stars

if you come to turn our bodies in search of a face, you have

come to the wrong place. here, we are uniform in silence,

uniformly wearing a road, uniformly faithful in death

& what is in a name if not the revelation of a city

burnt beneath the sun —we share “the grace,” & time-capsule to heaven.

IMG-20180919-WA0002Adedayo Agarau is a student and poet hoping to make the world a little better with his words and photography. He has works up at Barren Magazine, Geometry and 8poems. He is the author of For Boys Who Went. His manuscript “Asylum Chapel,” is coming to light for publication and looking for a good home. Please connect with him on Instagram @wallsofibadan, where he documents the beauty and pain of his Nigerian city home.

featured image by Tom Kondrat