Puke them all out-
those lies your mother fed you as the day
you would be weighed on kegs of wine
and tubers of yam crawled nearer.
She told you to sneak into his life
and steal what would make you no thief.
The most beautiful adornment you could wear was his ring.

Break them off-
the facades the village women tied around your ankles.
While the moon bathes unashamed with stars,
your breasts grind on your chest as you dance
to the women’s yarn of all you could only be:
keeper of his home, belly,
a fertile land for his semen.

But you aren’t just pebbles on this shore
fated to be collected and stored.
You are embroidery of mystery;
You are spring;
Your eyes are sun and moon-
twins forbidden to commune.
You are the darkness that shames light.

This is what your mother will never say to you:
Daughter, you worth more than silk and designs
If negotiating with your dreams keeps you up at night.
Don’t blame her, your grandmother never told her too.



Tobi Emitomo is a writer, poet and an editor. Her stories have featured on Walkactive and Hub201. She blogs at

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