Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 3



Funmilayo Obasa


When we write about Black Eye or the black eye theory

how do you tell a child
that her mother cries to god,
to have her burden
Swallowed? that her mother’s
            flesh garlands into grit?

            how do you tell a child
that
her father has his
Worries buried in another’s?

the child looks at her mother as tears ball
onto her Bruised cheeks
—one cascade on the encyclopedia of Christ,
—another on the map traced with her palms.

            she left the house of God for a decade.




Page 365

The previous pages of my
book are blurry images but the last
is distinct. I heft it on
my shoulders,

say a cloud
   holding rain.

the
words of my mother cut me
with the precision of a soldier’s
snipe,

and i wished to fall
into an inferno, to burn
till i disintegrate.

  today I feel nothing;
i dream i am flotsam
in a void. I do not want to be here—

 home, I have not found you.

     after I'll conclude that
the abode of my birthplace is an
abode of grief and all cries become
   refrains to lenten hymns.




Sanctuary II

—After Sanctuary by Funmilayo Obasa

harmonious like the north and south of
korea, we gather our unfinished cocoons &
turn our backs

against our scabbed words & turn our faces
into old paintings, pastels, panoramas, our
fathers.

The odour of our singed camaraderie lingers
like the broken walls of Benin—together is a
concocted

farce, its crackles spell their names like a
lustrous sun. the sanctuary speaks to me in
erratic waves because there is only one person

that sings their name in here; because they
are fading like a luminescent moon at dawn,
slowly. a laggard dissolving into other
sanctuaries.

their shadow will escape for me to become a
polyglot of chords hidden, unknown.



Oluwafunmilayo Obasa: "I am a non-fiction writer, poet, and photographer. I am passionate about documenting muffled stories with my art. Writing from Kwara, Abuja, or whichever place I find herself, my words tend to paint the spontaneity of my imagination, humanity & equality [for all], desires, and emotions, in abstract ways, forging a relationship between society and existence.”




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