From the grave
it is strange to me how you come to me
right in front of my face like a ghost
and I am made to hold the door open
and let you haunt my room
it’s a silly thing, really.
you will hold my face to the mirror
fingers shaking, you tell me to run
from my reflection and I will feel my heart tremble
as if you speak the truth on your breath
I am met with only wet cheeks and cold eyes
grief, you are a silly thing.
you have no invitation and yet
here you are, fingers in my throat
commanding I reflect upon my loss
regurgitating what I can barely keep down
you are a funny thing, huh?
I thought you were gone, but maybe
you do not really leave, not ever
and if you will not leave,
I pray you keep your hands to yourself
i. the myth
For a long time, i was inside my body
Like a Russian doll, just being.
I was picked up and unwrapped
And rewrapped and held to the light.
I just was. Looked at like a trick of light
Narcicissus’ pool, an isotope, a crystal
ii. the woman
Am i just something you see
with your eyes? Is it just me and me
On the inside meeting the outside
Attempting to chip away skin and bone
a sculptor with far too attached to the shadows
To the hollows, the image, the being
In theory, my body did not lift, it did not bear
it did not do, it just was
iii. a legend
In reality, it is none of those limits
It is all of it, the wholeness
Begets violence begets deep tenderness.
The unwilling to fully see despite the depth
to deny the fullness of life, to be a beautiful refraction
of the fable, another model to beholden.
A flat painting that evokes emotions unwelcome,
Underestimated, encompassing swells and dips.
The baby, the daughter, the wife, the mother
The bearer of all things and yet all things are denied
To be, as deeply and tenderly, and aggressively as one wishes
Has been a mere luxury to women, and yet
I am fighting through blood and chains
To have cake and eat, have my body,
Really have it, and be in love with it.
Poems: Olubunmi Oni
Image: Omid Armin Unsplash remix