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These pasts the world wrote
On the pages of my skin
Can’t be told in light.
You have to come to dark room,
That’s where I have learnt to live.
That’s where I let my pains
Like butterflies out of my palms.
That’s where I grace the wind
With the colors of my wounds.
The walls can bear me witness.
Dark walls are full of my voice.
I have learnt people use our shame
As a tool to pull down the remnant
Of our beauty.
Mother said do not wash your feet
In the eyes of men.
The river of life is overflowing.
This is why I am here
Hiding my tears from the sun,
I keep holding God by the neck:
I am like church,
Filled with broken prayers
And sermons.

Osho Tunde is a Nigerian writer who turns to poetry to bear witness for the joy and sadness within his body. His haiku poem was recently on the Babishai Niwe haiku 2020 long list. His works are forthcoming in Conscio, Erogospel and elsewhere. He lives and writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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