Volume Four, Issue 2

Ayobami Adesina

All Boys Are Broken & Some Are Wingless

I turned my love towards a girl that turned
water to water & called it a miracle
—Adedayo Agarau

boys, in love, are thrown
into a country of
crossfire. it is to

say a bullet crawls into
your body & you
stay ][ run ][

a soul forces her breath
into you, yet leaves. /say
a gxrl opens you to love

yet leaves you in.
i poured love into
a gxrl that starked

my innocence open
& tears me between a country
& love /say i poured water

water & called it love
/say i gathered love into
a room filled of thorns,

& entered...

a people of prayer, fire and fire

1. My mother leads us into
a cathedral of prayer
and fire
& we pray.

2. Here, we are Nations
set apart to war. We
fight an enemy we do
not see with our voice.

3. We say: Oluwa ó...

As if to ready for

4. The man of God says: "hold
your gun, shoot at your
enemies." (Hold your gun,
shoot at your enemies).

5. We put two right
fingers up and shoot
at empty space.

6. What could you possibly
shoot at when you do
not see an enemy?

7. A nod here. A nod there.
One shout here. Two claps there.
Two shots here. None dead there.

8. A woman is stamping her
feet ...Oluwa ó!
Another is rolling on the floor
Oluwa ó...

9. I look at my mother and
she's asleep. No doubt,
my sister is a decade asleep
too but; Oluwa ó!
Gbo oun mi.


I'm at this juncture where everything connects
but life
I gather myself so many poems only the living can't understand
I write of love and how it broke a boy into living metaphors
How love is another name for emptying
I emptied my lover's body before the storm came and took her teeth
I write of the heat that made us flee from our body
from our silence
How I break a communion with solitude and thoughts and plenty plenty silence
I write of how a girl yawned and the whole house went in and died
The lines in her thought are the wars her family never saw
The news comes up and a boy still dies — another is running from this wreck
but stumbles and die
His mouth is heavy as what broke this country
and me…

Ayobami Adesina: "I am a Nigerian poet and humanist, with works in Barren, Praxis, Peeking Cat Poetry, Minute, HIV Here & Now, Synchronized chaos among other journals, as well as in Memento: an Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry (Animal Heart Press, 2020), edited by Adedayo Agarau. Say hello to me on twitter @adesinaayoi."

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