LOVE CAME TO DESOLATE CITIES
Old bones are percussion instruments
Colliding to music played in buried cities.
Most cities sing a funeral dirge to myriad beats of
loss while we are covered with black cloaks, hiding
red rimmed eyes and salty tears.
We live in a city tethering on borrowed time,
an anachronistic statement to be crumbled,
infected by time’s untreatable virus,
marked with spidery cracks,
thin hollow veins radiating from a centre stained with broken vows,
partitioned into segments of rotten carrion.
The bond of stolen moments too weak to hold against migration of lost hearts.
We ask what happens to cities with lost names,
cities that repelled its antique memories for modern glazed glass.
We ask it inhabitants for the memory of growing bones,
if they remember the sound lengthening of bones make.
Progress is not necessarily a forward movement,
we are named after something that is long buried.
Religion trapped between two worlds stretched thin by logic and
faith, appropriating to thin cracks to survive,
we have lost the names of hidden streets in our city.
Love came to broken down walls while we fled
and became a balm to hurt and broken promises.
Our city did not crumble on dissertation,
and it won’t crumble to the teeming inpouring of fickle lovers
Every last sigh and breath brings us to a place we
forgot until the silence became echoes of desolation.
OF CHILD MARRIAGES AND RIPPED INNOCENCE
Let us partition rape in hidden corridors,
under the guise of a marriage and redemption.
Our skin is a long unexplored road, with jewels to be harvested.
We knelt and kissed the earth while they stood behind us
watching our dance of agony with dark enthralled eyes,
We prayed to foreign gods on knees bruised red,
monument to the shame living in our core.
Your hymen does not belong to you,
we sang this lullaby to our daughters,
from crib to first blood,
placing a hijab over tear marked faces,
masking pain with henna.
Our daughters left home in the shape of
questions, chains becoming their shadow,
as seen on a bed of roses where a veiled woman lay
bound by a man reciting the hundred names of God,
fingers questing for broken hymen.
I imagine a god sitting on a worn out throne
keening at the folly of creation.
Ariyo OluwaTosin is an avid reader and budding writer, he has poems published in the Kalahari review and other personal blogs. He tweets @tosiine.
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