Adedamola Olabimpe loves art in all its forms. They almost always have earphones plugged in and believe bread is one of mankind's greatest inventions. You can find her on Twitter @lilbrowneyedfae.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD FROM YOUR FATHER?
not even when i tell you
that my father is a mirage
dancing in the haze of the heat of my childhood.
don't run when i take my clothes off
& show you the scars of abandonment—
teeth i pulled out of my mouth myself,
babies i mothered without a womb,
lessons learnt from a screen.
don't turn the lights off.
see what remains of me.
this is what i have managed to salvage.
don't run from these scraps.
eat at my table, my love.
poke through my bones & build a house
that the rain leaks through.
i am not afraid of the rot.
don't run from the blades hidden in my arms &
my stomach. see?
i have made them dull just so you
can hold me.
PRAYERS FROM MY TEENAGE SELF
13 - Lord, please make me pure again.
Melt my bones into silver & remold me.
17 - Lord, please help my body forget
the ecstasy of sin.
With fire, purge the feeling of her pleasure from my tongue.
Erase my memories of tangled sheets &
his hands working magic inside me.
14 - Lord, will you help me hold a lover's hands
without wanting more?
14 - I never stood a chance, Lord.
Not with the little boys & big men taking uninvited.
19 - Have I missed my turn, Father?
Is it too late for me?
Can I see their face light up in joy & have that be enough?
Before I became/ a clusterfuck of sins/ my brother/ taught me a trick with a candle/ How to touch the flame/ without getting hurt/ It wasn't an extraordinary thing/ Enitan/ the trick is/ to run your fingers/ through it quickly/ faster than time itself./ Fast enough for the pain/ to be unable to catch up with you.
SO, HOW IS THE STRIKE GOING?
I have become friends with blades again.
My left arm, a graveyard of shallow healing lines.
I am half blue light, half chores.
Nightmares jerk me awake, lull me to sleep.
My journal holds more than I could ever hope to speak.
The small black book haunting my sheets.
My wardrobe has swallowed my textbooks
& I am in no mood to dig.
She doesn't talk about it
but the disappointment in my mother's eyes holds conversations with me.
This country has ruined me.
Is ruining me.
My presence has birthed an awkward silence in the house
& it is pouring from my unasked & unanswered question -
So what do I do with myself now?
My partner fills the emptiness inside me &
I forget the feeling of fullness before I even leave the sheets.
But see, I am well. Can you not see the extra weight I have put on?
I could never do that in school.
I am lying in bed till 2,
not wasting away.
LITTLE BLAND TRUTHS
I don't know how to ride a bike,
balance has never been my strong suit.
Sometimes, I deny my body
just to feel something—
saliva pooling in my mouth.
I don't use metaphors
in my poems because
I am tired of things
that look like something else.
I cannot love one person
for too long because I
can see the end as it begins
and I only stick around
for the pain. the dissolution. the
saliva pooling in my mouth as my body