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Adeniran, Joseph: A wall and a classroom of black students

A wall and a classroom of black students:

to this end heaven comes for us

with open arms and a principle of

parables. nothing eats your bones so hard

than a stranger reading

meaning to your name. we are end of things here.

in places that don’t support the holes in our blood

i have learnt to describe myself with myself

not with other things becoming taller than oneself.

i have played the struggle of anything, but not the birds

that keep their friendship in their grave. not the smell that

keep our hands from stretching beyond—

they say a wall doesn’t mean freedom is cheap

but for every step we take they keep to rent our skin with their lyrics

they wanted us running with legs on our head

this is not a poem leading you to where you never wanted

because i still see everything ending with tears

there is no peace in a place that doesn’t

carry one’s body to the sun for respiration

this is me, and everything that concerns you.

this is us, and everything that speaks about them

this is them, because things given a name don’t grow where fear resides.


Poem © Adeniran Joseph

Image by wdkunze from Pixabay (modified)

Adeniran Joseph
Adeniran Joseph
Adeniran, Joseph is a student of Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State Nigeria. His poems “Home in Bottles of Fear" and “Door” were listed among Top 100 at the Nigerian Student Poetry Prize 2018 and 2019 respectively. His poem "Songs of Dark Rooms" was shortlisted for Christopher Okigbo Students Poetry Prize in 2018. His works have been featured or forthcoming in ACEworld Magazine, Kalahari Review, Parousia Magazine, African Writer, Barren Magazine, 8 Poems, and elsewhere. He hails from Oyo, Ibadan. Nigeria.


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