amen to heartbreak


take this sigh and eat

it holds a memory, a
silent memory of you
peering into my eyes


take this teardrop and drink:

my tongue folds in my mouth
like a carpet,
there are many promises
seated in my throat


tell me,
how do you hold fire
in your mouth
with a smile:

are promises not prayers
spoken without the name
of god?

my lungs are heavy
with salt, with sighs

I speak your name
into a flame
and a river bursts forth

I do not know what prayers
to pray
when your amen
is made of silent moans,

when your smile holds a name
different from mine

I have stopped
stuffing my mouth

with your name…



Olawale Ibiyemi is a young poet, currently an Accounting student of Babcock University, Nigeria. He writes from Sango-Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. His poem was shortlisted for the Ken Egba Prize For Festival Poetry 2017. Some of his poems will also appear in the Best New African Poets 2017 Anthology to be published in 2018. Olawale writes non-fiction too, and can only be enticed with a cup of ice-cream, chocolate flavour.

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