they say action speaks louder, but i know
every blade is softer than the tongue,
& the mind is twice the sharpness of steel.
i know a boy who faked sorrow until he
forgot why, thought the ache poetic
till it made him the mouth of a dirge.
stop, you have read this poem before.
somewhere is a moon bleached out
it becomes nothing but its light & there
are boys outside / all wearing wolf skin,
their cries, nothing but howls of faux.
imagine a bullet missed the chest,
desired the collarbone a cleaner home.
& a boy envies this affliction, wants
to treat scar like a tattoo of survival.
but i have found no honey in anguish
i know pain plucks the body like
a harvesting of skin, & there is nothing
beautiful in this choir of distress.
boy, if happiness offers, embrace
it with a kiss, allow the water
through your body.
do not fancy the grief / or thirst
for lament, do not force art out
of your body; every wound is not
metaphor for acrylic.
do not hold trauma by the teeth
& dare him to swallow.
Samuel Adeyemi is a Nigerian writer and an ardent lover of literature. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching anime and listening to a variety of music. A student of English and Literary Studies, he lives in Abuja, Nigeria, from where he also writes.