The Cleaving By Samuel A. Adeyemi

The Cleaving

Say, depression is a guillotine kneeling
towards my chest. Say, it is a blade

seeking to pray on my flesh. My body, a
sacrament. My bones, clean alters of grief.

Tell me this calvary will pass over me with
the night, that the morning will be a new

attempt to gather myself. I’m left in shambles
like the language cleft on my terrible teeth,

graceless as a name fumbling on an infant’s
tongue. I have longed to be elegant, deliberate

as a garland, for joy to place a kiss on the soft
of my palm. I am not convinced whoever made

this body desired me relief—I approach my joy &
it turns into a knife. Who will come take this boy

& make chaplets from his hair? Who will press
me into a garden, let lilies fill my mouth? Lord,

unthread me in the wind, till I am the limbs of
a whisper. I want to hold up a mirror & not see

a face—just an inspection of glass, shimmery
like a pocket-sized lake. I want to be some lake;

boneless, cooling my own thirst,
washing anew, tide wrestling tide.

By Samuel A. Adeyemi


Samuel A. Adeyemi is a young writer from Nigeria. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, 580 Split, Leavings Lit Mag, The Shore, African Writer, The African Writers Review, Jalada, and elsewhere. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching anime and listening to a variety of music. You may reach him on Twitter and Instagram @samuelpoetry

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