Poetry

Mahbubat Kanyinsola Salahudeen: Letter To What I Don’t Know

wingless bird
Image: Gaurav Sharma via Pixabay

//Letter To What I Don’t Know//

these days I am scribbling myself into pages    you know words are all I have     today i am choosing to write this poem at 5am    when the grey of dark is fading    and thoughts flow in unfiltered    with reality crippling back in at sunrise     i have been grasping at straws for some time now     and some days i feel like galvanizing into the arms of the wind until this body becomes a relic of what it used to be

my eyes have turned sour like lime    they drip with the venom of tedious experience i take as pills    and as my sanity detaches as falls buried into the gaps between my teeth    turning my mouth into graves     my souls are there no more     they got stuck staring into empty spaces     trapped in the ripples of a delusion

with feet coated in dust-like chocolate    and a bag slinged against my back     as if unaccustomed to peeling voices    gossips     night-lights    throaty laughter    cats    her voice slightly raised above the rest     i left ibadan    and arrived home from school with a different feeling of what home should be     when i say home is so much a metaphor for pain     i mean my body and soul do not align with this place    my tears still follow me to bed _ grief nestles beside me in the cold stillness of night _ and lulls me to sleep

like water i have never had a taste of myself     i do not know myself     some nights i wake up sweating / panting knowing that i am a stranger trapped in this place _ this body     times when i notice the sun through my window    or the birds calling out    or the morning breeze nestling into the orifices on my skin    i can smile    and joke    and let dry jokes saturate my face with laughter

++++++++++++++++++ but

some nights    i wake up away from myself    perhaps this is crazy    it would not be the first time i have tacked myself with this title    i don’t know if it’s crippling depression    i am not happy    i am not sad either    some nights when i am alone    i forget how to feel

nights when darkness sweeps in    i keep my eyes open searching for the first sign of light _ the sun    in orange    or a mere crescent  _  in the cave of this body    at night i clench my teeth     my fists    i try hard to smother the trumpet-mute cries rising in the paved throat of this cave in search of a small door _  an exit

++++++++++++++++++ now it is almost over

home too is a cruel kind of education     thus forcing new skins on me     scraping scales from my eyes     thus my heart     my very own physical heart _ no figure of speech here _ is tearing itself from me     has become its own separate thing     its rhythm at odds with mine

so i gift the mirror an eye     and it reflects _ bald patches of dirt where nothing ever grows _ i trace down my bloodline    i too have been pushing forward with my pony strength against a wall too big and too strong for me     all I want is to be a sun that never sets    to walk around without question     i want to yank myself from this place     from this reality     rise up like a cloud and float away     melt into the stream of air     and dissolve somewhere     far over the hills    but i am here     a wingless bird sitting atop a tree  _ my legs are empty of air _  there will be no floating away tonight    no other reality after this

*********

“these days I’m scribbling myself into pages,”  from Praise Osawaru’s “Something Blue is Calling My Name.”
a sun that never sets” & “a mere crescent,” from Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arowolo’s “Pure Light.”
from this reality    rise up like a cloud and float way   melt into the stream of air    and dissolve somewhere   far over the hills,” from Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner.”

——-

Poem: Mahbubat Kanyinsola Salahudeen
Image: Gaurav Sharma via Pixabay

About the author

Mahbubat Kanyinsola Salahudeen

Mahbubat Kanyinsola Salahudeen is a genre-bending writer from South Western Nigeria who has a great interest in fictional prose and confessional poetry. Her works have featured in Spillwords magazine, Brittle Paper, Ice Lolly, Arts Lounge, SprinNG journal, Litround journal, Down in the Dirt, Aayo Magazine, Nanty Greens, Cathartic Review, Northern Otter Press, Konya Shamsrumi, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Confetti and elsewhere. When she is not writing, she's either watching or doing anything related to football or just hanging out by herself.

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