Monday, November 4, 2019


I was born into the arms of the white sun
I live just to praise its beauty.

Spurred by the golden spires
made to appease the falling magma
in my name, I turn & shine like a thousand stars.

Though there’s fire underneath my skin
& the songs of life would not cease to pull
me closer to dances that would not embrace my feet.

Bones of boys & girls who sprinkled blood
upon the language they cannot speak
become ordinary dust in my hands,

Omoye called out their names but the smoke
from my eyes have seen how quickly
names get burnt. We bury our dead inside

the stomach of the earth, yet in praying
for them we look up to the skies.
I run from east to west, like the pendulum,

gathering the tears of those who laughed
the first time I cried in the arms of the white sun
–as a king who will never ride a white horse.

When my new parents gave me alaari with which
to chase after Omoye I asked, confused, if they did not know
that Omoye has already walked naked to the marketsquare?

*alaari   a rich, handwoven cloth, brightly colored (Yoruba, Nigeria).

Bola Opaleke is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. He is an emerging poet in that, in spite of being 46 years old, he has had no book of poetry professionally/traditionally published. His poems, though, have appeared or forthcoming in a few Journals like Glass, Frontier Poetry, Rising Phoenix Review, Writers Resist, Rattle, CBC Books, Cleaver, One, The Nottingham Review, The Puritan, The Literary Review of Canada, Sierra Nevada Review, Dissident Voice, Poetry Quarterly, The Indianapolis Review, Canadian Literature, Empty Mirror, Poetry Pacific, Drunk Monkeys, Temz Review, The Pangolin Review, and others. He holds a degree in City Planning and lives in Winnipeg MB.

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