i’m here, mother i’m here

Taiwo Hassan

By Taiwo Hassan

in this poem, fire wears the essence of its irony and i’m drowning. touch this skin, there’s a home burning in each of its pores.
make no mistake, these ashes are not meant to be unburnt, so let your hands wander carefully, there are no chances for healing in this land. today, i want to morph into a snake, strut my pain with scales, in strides so beautiful they’ll mask this guilt. perhaps this dance can be a purge, a ceremony, a rite of names to drown the parts of me unnamed and release them through the art of molting. what’s more glorious than wearing the power of a new life? i know your face is stained with a smirk but tell me, what stories can you knit to explain the absence of incision marks on a coconut’s belly? how do you make your thoughts elastic to fathom the child it carries? look, there’s a plethora of ways God melts a window into a door. i sit by the panes and watch him adorn birdsong with my worries, making harmonies with the wind. what best to paint pictures of freedom than metaphors carrying the skies on their backs? my mother once told me pain is another name for love. i still nurse these wounds hoping they would grow into roses, without thorns. this time, a boy will wear the eyes of his mother and won’t be a stone in water. he will cry a river and not drown, bleed and not wait for butterflies to give his wounds another moniker. this time, i will be that boy, carrying life in his hands muttering what this poem began with.

Taiwo Hassan is a Nigerian student, poet and writer. His works have appeared in Shallow Tales Review, Liminal Transit Review, Second Skin Magazine, Praxis Magazine and Ice Floe Press, to mention a few. When he’s not writing, he’s either listening to music or watching TV series. His social media handles include @iamtsoul on Instagram and @symplytaiwo on Twitter.