“Self-Adulation as a Note Accompanied with a Bouquet of Feathers” – Poetry by Wale Ayinla

The Shipwreck – Henri-Edmond Cross, 1907

“Self-Adulation as a Note Accompanied with a Bouquet of Feathers” is one of two surreal & spiritual poems by Wale Ayinla in our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

and everything around me is falling
like the words rolled under mother’s sleeves.
Imagine that I am returning to a fever;
of green grass soaked in typhoid bedspread.
My sight tightens mother’s lips
as music. Frail fingers squeeze
her palms into a collage of dark hooks
and sirens, while the syringe buries itself.
Sometimes I feel like I might fold the night
into my armpit and run the length of the
city as a ghost, nevertheless, something draws me
back to my mother’s words like a magnet;
like an oath. (Never leave a widow opened
as a window.) A chimney of old wears
sewn on skin made with footprints.
I hold this memory firmly the same way
God tucks his secrets above the sky
under His soles. One day I will
hold a country and name it dreams.
Look at me the way you look a river
traveling with your face with words
holding you to a grudge. Do you see me
holding the hands of a father who is a heaven
away? Come, as a river paddling the body
into a shipwreck. I live here.

{ X }

WALE AYINLA writes from the ancient city of Abeokuta in Nigeria. His work appears or is forthcoming in Takahe, Kalahari ReviewVagabond CityThe Rising PhoenixExpoundand Dwarts. He is @Wale_Ayinla on Twitter and the founding editor of Dwarts Magazine.

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