I remember my aunt who lives in the Crown’s yard.

Yes, that aunt—the dilettante of good manners,

whose words make God’s brain careen in his skull.

She is the poison in the antidote. She is death—

death in masquerade. She is a relentless wraith,

feeding on that which she does not possess, so as

to have dominion over it. Volcanoes have died to

give life to her rage. She forgets that we are 

nothing more than perpetual gravediggers—we

who are born to bury and to be buried. Her baltic

bowls of beans and soups, drown the vigor of

interned children. She is the dagger that

peregrinates an unbroken body, waiting to thread

through skin, rib, heart, blood, and soul. The

corporeal and incorporeal are hemmed to form a

gory trapeze, fashioned only to condemn

tranquility to the netherworld—from where it will

swing back to earth, to be reborn as perpetual injury. 


You are a vacuum 

within an abyss.

Neither of us truly 

knew what that meant,

until I watched you 

metamorphose from nothing

to nothingness.

This blue abyss tunnels

out from the world

and into my mouth,

fusing with my oesophagus—

‘tis the officiation of a forced

marriage, between the silver

dagger and the milk spot quilt.

My body is an interlink—

a meeting place for the 

living and the underliving.

It has no more rooms to let.

I have lost my soluble tongue,

and can no longer offer 

melodious oblations to Oya.

The wilting rose petal

imprisoned betwixt my cheeks,

only reverberates the 

protest of a deprived belly.

Aanuoluwapo Adesina is the author of Emocean, a poetry collection published in 2016 by Kraft Books (Nigeria). He was the winner of the 2016 Nandos Poetry Prize (Coventry, UK). His work was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry prize in 2017, and in 2021, his works were Longlisted for the Africa@2050 Climate Fiction Competition, the African Writers Awards, and the Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature. His works have appeared in Brittle Paper, Vulnerary Magazine, Brave Voices Magazine, The Kalahari Review, HEBE, and other spaces.
He is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Butler University.

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