WHEN I WAS 12 I KEPT YOUR SHADOW IN A BOX by Adedayo Agarau

           because when the body leaves / we are left with stomped flowers /
growing out of walls. & darkness is the only country where the population is
unanimous / the door still creaks / the wind pushing it inside / asking it to hold its
temper / maybe someday / gone prayers will return as miracles / our mother is
thin from longing.

                                 Everything is war if we are hiding / & there is no peace inside a
                      house full of old pictures / my father in a portrait covered by dust &
                      cobwebs / gives us his smile / I like my mother’s hopes / I like how she
                      would stand before this picture

                                                                       & hold the door with her tongue / we
                                                             know how it is easy to go & how terrible it
                                                            is to unmake a distance /I dream of his
                                                            tongue buried inside another woman’s laps /
                                                            I dream of you, daddy /raging like a storm
                                                            in the living room / & I dream of a rainbow
                                                            standing giant in the sky after the rain at
                                                            your funeral.

***

Adedayo Agarau is a student and poet hoping to make the world a little better with his words and photography. He has works up at Barren Magazine, Geometry, Glass poetry, 8poems and elsewhere. He is the author of For Boys Who Went. His manuscript "Asylum Chapel," is coming to light for publication and looking for a good home. Please connect with him on twitter @adedayo_agarau and on Instagram @wallsofibadan, where he documents the beauty and pain of his Nigerian city home.

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