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“Love Came To Desolate Cities” and “Of Child Marriages and Ripped Innocence”| Tosin Ariyo

“Love Came To Desolate Cities” and “Of Child Marriages and Ripped Innocence”| Tosin Ariyo

Love came to desolate cities'' Agbowo art OF CHILD MARRIAGES AND RIPPED INNOCENCE Tosin Ariyo



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.







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 Ariyo Tosin Agbowo Art 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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