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I still don’t know the language of love
Every girl has my father’s face.

On a summer train ride from Kazan to Volgograd
I leave the radio talking to itself at home
There are roughly 1,137 silences
I fill my mother gently into every silence.

My body is so tiny it takes the shape of anything it is poured into
Once I poured it in a vodka bottle and it fitted perfectly
But a church constantly spits me out, always cursing that I will never be

I once had a nightmare where I was happy
Died with a wide smile on my face
I was either swallowed whole or euthanasia

Мне в России всегда грустно *
Everything is somehow bland
and in winter solitude builds an igloo in my heart.

Her hair was everywhere and it smelled of coconut oil
The first time we kissed, flowers sprouted in my diastema
She called them ixoras, I don’t remember her name.

I hope I am never ready to be a man
I just want to get a nose ring and be a flower boy
Sitting down on the edge of boyhood all my life.

Perhaps it was some kind of Abrahamic love
I once tried to sacrifice myself.
I wanted to please a lover by setting the world on fire
So I used my body as fuel.

*Мне в России всегда грустно – In Russia I’m always sad

Ade Toke was born and grew up in Nigeria, currently studies Engineering at some University in Russia with the hopes of becoming a writer. Toke has published fictions for BellaNaija, a popular Nigerian blog and has worked as a book reviewer with Okada Books. He loves wine and binge watching series on Netflix.

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