the way hatred crawls from the strands
to the sole, in sync with the soft hum of
owls, empties me to a satisfaction.
it is dark here, and the night is competing
with my heart. whose version of darkness
how dedicated i am to the moonlight to paw.
it is monstrous to leave this room by itself,
& its Sunday, all are to be left in servitude.
what does it feel like to crane history
to its origin? still, grief circles round the neck .
still, the child’s wail is just a form of expression.
though inside, time seizes to hurry the dusk
to dawn. how many nights for a single night?
a brush against the lapel & a generation
of blood floods the cloth to a covenant.
after all, the kind blades are the sharpest.
my body draws the triptych into a tale.
collaging the road into a body of wishes
after Kristin Chang
after my mother plucks the fruit
from the tree, i misspend my whole day
searching for my country
on tiny inscriptions on the exotic cloak
of darkness, a scene provoked
out of the eyes like machete raised
to pierce the sun. what a son makes
out of his shadows a mother must contribute,
out of darkness: she stretches into her bra cups
like a pendulum dragging its hold.
a memory at a time.
she lassoes a river to my skin
and i am in the church & my body
shelves disgust mid-prayer.
the dark night attracts
a candlelight, and my legs have grown
monster-like merely looking
at them on the wall. i wear my blood
on my wrists and this is treachery
for the bracelets i never wore.
the crushed shells scatter
on my face like an offering.
say the passage to my father
is too large for a boy
the size of memory.
say i fit my father into my fists
as he eases me into the cave’s
mouth. my tongue waves, and questions
water to its fault.
i wait for the road
to stomach me an apparition
breasted to the hills like a curse.
Wale Ayinla is a Nigerian poet, essayist, and editor. He is a Best of the Net Award nominee, and his works appear on Palette Poetry, Vagabond City, Kalahari Review, Expound, Brittle Paper, Prachya Review, FLAPPERHOUSE, Connotations Press, Vagabond City, The Rising Phoenix Review, The Temz Review, SOBER., and elsewhere. He is @Wale_Ayinla on Twitter. He is the founding editor of Dwarts Magazine.