In our homes,
girls born in the morning
are assigned years until
they become something bigger than the numbers of their moon.
boys blossom into crime
a grooming of innocence crushed under
the flattening weight of expectations.
girls inherit fear –
boys inherit guilt.
girls inherit the croaks of their mothers
how to be
how to curl into something
that the fist can crumble into silence.
boys take on barked how-s
tales of inherited power
masculinity in a caged box
that can always take room for one more.
welcome melodies, a sanctuary
come in; go: become: come;
we teach everyone born under a star/
the rules of conforming.
Become what you may;
right in the box.
there’s always room for one more.
Ayomide Ladipo feels labels are limiting so doesn’t call herself anything but her name. She writes from Bauchi, and Lagos, Nigeria.