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Gaslighting the Martyr | Samuel A. Adeyemi

Gaslighting the Martyr | Samuel A. Adeyemi

Gaslighting the Martyr | Samuel A. Adeyemi | Agbowo Art | African Literary Art

The things I’ve survived are dull & unspectacular.  
The fever, the bruise—all lacking magnificence.
The wounds I’ve healed from do not keep me up 
at night. I have a scar on my knee, my friend has 
an absence. The whole leg ending with a thigh. 
So what do I know about hurt that I am so glued 
to it? How much ache is enough ache for the poets
to lament? Maybe I overrate my suffering? 
Each morning, I am still alive. There is an agony
that wreathes around my heart, but I am still alive,
dying at a reasonable pace. When I weep, it is for 
the wounds I cannot touch. Loss, incorporeal. Woe,
intangible. I grieve for the things without evidence
on the body. I hold my head, aching for my dead,
but there is no blood there. What waste of pain,
agony without colour, without proof of presence. 
But is it not there? Does the knife not roam across
the linen of my chest? I do not know what to trust.
They have turned me into the man who doubts
the wind because he cannot hold it, who says, let 
the breeze be palpable just for tonight, so I may
take photographs of its hands. They will not allow
me grieve what I have lost. They will not let me 
weep for the bloodless wound. I am shredding
the gravity of my ache. I am shredding the image
of the gravity of my ache. I am talking about the 
blade. I call it absent instead of invisible.


Samuel A. Adeyemi

Samuel A. Adeyemi is the author of the chapbook, Heaven is a Metaphor. He is a Poetry Editor at Afro Literary Magazine and a Poetry Reader at Salamander Ink. A Best of the Net Nominee and the winner of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize 2021, his poems have appeared in Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, 580 Split, The Maine Review, Blue Marble Review, Brittle Paper, Jalada, and elsewhere. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching anime and listening to a variety of music. 
Twitter: @samuelpoetry Instagram: @samuelpoetry

Photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash

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