I REMEMBER IT LIKE YESTERDAY BECAUSE IT WAS
i remember it like yesterday / because it was
my therapist told me / depression is an illusion
that peels sanity off minds
& trauma is a fictional gag around my throat
that makes silence / a song of praise
so we tore the gag / wiped my eyes with its fiber / & burnt it
but when today came knocking / & i opened the door
the wind slapped a different breed on my face
when i close my eyes / my mind draws bridges
between me & yesterday’s ashes—
the darkness i burned / but still sails the wind
& sticks to my forehead
father tells me to gather the ashes / & keep
as a trophy on the shelf
to remind me of my battle against depression
he says that / but i know only victors keep trophies
& i do not see smiles leaking from the edges of my mouth
i still feel a heap of emptiness / weighing on my heart
A NOTE ON THE HUMAN BODY
In the bipolar city of Benin;
one where the sun flosses at daytime
& the clouds become bansheelike next,
shuffling rain & thunder,
I ponder over which shirt looks better on me:
a laser lemon shirt or a rainbow striped shirt.
By my window, I stand topless, staring at my mirrored reflection.
Outside, the trees’ leaves flutter in the yard
& I bend to listen if the wind will whisper to me.
A moment passes by & my mind engulfs a realization.
What this body yearns for is tenderness—
to be caressed & adorned with clothes that allures,
represents the heart’s melody,
& befits one’s identity.
Hear me, do not mistake this body for a hanger,
where clothes are worn to tell
a tale of wrinkle-free.
CONVERSATION WITH AUNT IMADE ABOUT LEAVING HOME
why do you want to leave your home?
home is what people call a place, so they feel comfortable
shedding their bodies at night & wearing it back at daytime.
my home is a place where the air is so perverse,
if inhaled, it corrupts one’s soul.
i am just a boy who’s tired of holding his breath.
i’m tired of my body being an empty room
bleeding echoes of my silence.
i’m tired of chasing after my shadow
in the corners of my mind.
home is not home, if it’s a dry well
& i still feel like i am drowning.
home is not home, if my sanity hides under the bed
where the monsters are supposed to sleep.
i am just a boy who’s tired of offering silent prayers
when my subconscious does not say amen.
my home is a place shackling my soul
& all i want is to break free,
take a stroll & forget my way back.
Poems © Praise Osawaru
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay (modified)