Believer’s Hymn

David Solomon

after Samuel Adeyemi’s Desist Hymn

By David Solomon

Mouthless god or godless mouth?
my mouth opens in search of what has
not deserted me:
soft dust curls out like hang ropes.
when i was a child,
mother lapped an old bible over the white sheets
that covered her cancer.
she spread it so gently, as if it was what was left
of her life.
do you not know that your body is God’s temple?…
she chokes with cough,
puncturing my temple. God seeping out like
fisted sand.
I swear mother, I am not blasphemous.
prayers cascade my lips
just as you thought me but god falls out instead.
as if my body
is not soil enough for faith. for without faith,
it is impossible to please God.

two years after my mother transcended, i add a flower to the cross above
her head and ask God for a sign that He is still alive.
The next week, Amina gets a flower, too.
will you blame a boy?—a manifesting gentile.

I had emptied jar after jar
of the bible—God’s word— into my sister’s
body. jars that God collected.
and stored for me. with every new age, He pours those words as miracles.
He washes my feet with oil. I have seen God
in the dreams about
my mother. I see Him as white sheets, His mouth—
the bible talking to her.
talking to me. I see Him in the visions of Amina rushing through hospital
doors, angels sprouting from her chin.

Is today, the day you have made? Shall i rejoice and
be glad in it?
Mouthless god?       godless mouth?
even the the white dust
that left my mouth, I now see God inscribed on it.

David Solomon is a Nigerian poet and student of Human Anatomy in the university of Maiduguri. He is passionate about all things art and stans Ocean Vuong. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in various magazines, including; Kalahari Review, African Writers, MadSwirl and others. He tweets @Hena_David_S.