if you hold joy long enough, you
will find ache deep in its crack.
it’s a mystery unfolding in the mouth 

of a crab. nothing else masks a teardrop
like goodbyes in the rain, teach this mind
not to abort what it wants to forget. 

I want to know the miracle in the eyes of a
child – to grow wings on a divide that
would genuflect a plea. 

let me not be a wanderer under an ellipsis.
let me not pilgrim emotions in places
holding sieves. sometimes,

I blame the moonlight for yielding to the night.
I blame these veins, this lung, this heart that
rips me 

of an arm. There is a wanderer lobbying in
every town and home – I want 
to house this memory at the tip of a nail.

let me not be an outlier for things I cannot
change. let me not be an outcast for the
things beyond my reach. 

sometimes, the heart, too, needs a pause to
take a smell of rose, sometimes, the heart, too,
needs some time to grow into itself.

I want you to know more of me when I’m not
on an edge. I want to know the depth of vows
at the brush of a lip.
let me witness the miracle at the edge of a cliff,
let me not be a wanderer on paths not
meant for me.

I want to feel the betrayal in the mouth of my
wound – I want to spark revival on the shoulder

of a hill. my silence is a miracle that foots me to a
cross, as I undress my desires and fold them into kites.

let me not be a witness to the things that haunt a night, 
let me learn not to say goodbye with my eyes open wide.

Oyekunle, Ifeoluwa Peter is a Nigerian poet. His writings explore subjects that interrogate home, places, memories, silence, healing, and grief. He was the winner of Youth Shades Poetry Prize (08/2017) and was a joint winner of the PIN Food Poetry Prize (2018). His writings have appeared in Kalahari ReviewRockvale ReviewNgiga ReviewHornpond ReviewEchelon ReviewInverse Journal, and elsewhere. He has lived in Nigeria, England, and the United States. A Best of the Net nominee, he writes from Tallahassee, Florida where he is learning the language of silence.

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