NEW WINES, NEW SKINS
He told you of your
tale-telling arcs for hips,
murmured about how your eyes are
places worth peering into for him,
when he whispered against your lips, about
how flaccid your breasts are, of how tautly grown
they become with a mind of theirs,
and he touched your thighs, calling them borders blocking wars, as he wandered closer
and closer to your quivering edges.
He told no lie.
He didn’t tell the whole truth either.
During war, he found milk and honey, true.
Found backs. Windows. He found no borders
in another he.
So, have some faith ready for dinner
when he walks –in– through your thighs
calling his lover’s name. When
he says “tell no one of this door”,
don’t pray him to death when he leaves.
I am back in Àjọwá on bàbá’s feeble lap,
turning my short neck to avoid the irritating buzz
of a pesky mosquito, nodding in anticipation as
he weaves another moonlight tale
I am twelve again in the church,
growing uncomfortable in my tight headwrap
waiting for the best part, my favorite moments,
kissing the bride,
he was so shy but he
did it anyway, in front of the church, Earth’s testifiers
and the Heavens, they said to proclaimed theirs
an happily ever after.
Have some verses ready for Bàbá when he leaves
to dine with the gods of the ageless,
taking the not-aged, not-shy bride with him.
Ever heard a song, or a poem,
maybe a psalm that describes how to love?
I haven’t too.
It must have whispered how I need to
press my mouth together,
with my hands open,
feed him a bit of myself, curdled with salvation and water,
say to him “don’t leave”
so that my oríkì becomes his early morning calls.
How do you find yourself in a room full of tinted mirrors?
How do you stay in a town filled with boats?
This I know:
with my mouth pressed together, hands opened wide
like in supplications, feed
a bit of myself soaked
with salvation and water, I will say to myself
Leaving is -putting new wine
in new skins – dying.
A sort of rebirth.
TELL ME HOW LIGHT BREAKS OUT…
On a lengthy chat with a guy whose
Man of God is his display picture.
I am telling him of my sexual tendencies,
Of how I can be lewd.
I am telling him of how curious I am
About booze and weed.
‘Okay’. He said. (At first)
Now, I am painting a picture of me
-skinny dipping with a stranger
-making cocktails out of chalks and seasoned waters
-rubbing thighs at breakfast
-pulling cocks under covered tables
-panting hard, kicking harder
I am breathing about threesome;
‘Okay’. He said. (Again)
Like the teasing flip of a sexual page,
I’m unravelling myself -deliberately-
to this boy
-whose man of God is seen
stunting in praise to his God
-whose man of God is his display picture.
I am telling him
Of how fear has me crippled
Of how religion has me backed
into a corner
Of how my feelings go unheard
Of how I can’t -truly- love another Without my fear of not being enough.
I JUST told him of how I can’t bear
another crack in my heart!
With a weird emoji,
he says: Okay’.
So, now I’m shouting at him
Now, I am being maudlin.
I am screaming at him about
finding myself, my
coyness rejection, my hatred for boxes.
Of how my mother sees me as weird.
I might even be queer,
I am thinking.
I am on a chat with a guy
who doesn’t joke with evening services
and all he said was: ‘Let’s pray‘.
Tell me how light breaks
Out in total bleakness.
Poems © Adenle Iyanuoluwa Deborah