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after reading my fifteenth rejection letter | Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola

after reading my fifteenth rejection letter | Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola


i.        snake finds its way through the fatness of
a forest
. the sun too,  has a way of seeing
though the darkness is stashed up between
the porosity of trees. but i wear my doused
sun a helmet say deliberately. i open a forest
of trees, i pick a twig. it’s a biscuit bone. i make
a hole with the mind of making music for  the
world. i make rhythms of worms. so empathy
will buy people.  


ii.        i have begun seeing my son bigger than art.
larger than poetry. i think it is me making up
time stolen to write rejected poems. i failed to
stop my heart from anxiety slashing my lungs
when i received the last mail. my wife is a saving
dumpster for my sickness.
the way i squeeze my
misery too quickly into her thighs. tell me if i will
not tell you my life is deprived of pleasure.


iii.        i wool my son’s ears of lullabies stained with rejection’s
pus. the editors write beautiful disapproval each time,
that i have learned how to weave paper angels from
for resuscitation. i find a home for rejected
poems  in my son’s ears. he male-s me a smile. i am
guilty because until now i have not written him a poem.


iv.        this is the last of them; a redraft of biography beginning with
a bird’s moniker; forthcoming and elsewhere; i call myself
a plain sheet of two devotions— recto verso and without an MFA.
maybe if i won a brunel, i would find boldness for a confession
to my son of his ears’ abuse and a penance for my wife. maybe
the mail beep would stop sounding like a rapture call.


Goodness Ayoola Agbowo Art African Literary Art Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola is a Nigerian poet and teacher of English. His poetry has appeared in Indian Periodicals, Leaves of Ink, Deepwater Literary Journal, Brittle Paper, Ric Journal and just recently on Burning House Press.  He believes in the potency of poetry. Say hi to him @GoodnessLanre.

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