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in church today/ the pastor mentioned the twelve ways to burning in hell/ he did not mention love/ i began to remember/ like lost letters finding their way into sentence/ you, falling out of the pores in my body/ on a soft afternoon/ became my heartbeat/ there is something about falling/ about breaking soft stones/ i still do not remember your name/ but/ the bathtub you filled with water/ the water you got into/ the bathroom floor was brown/ you planted your lips on mine/ tasted my future/ salty dreams of naïve boys/ whose mothers are city women running after hazed dreams/ you lifted me into the water/ silence/ on the water spoke/ you pressed my face against your nipples/ and said, oko mi atata/ i love you/ since i was a boy, i’ve known love to be a ghost/ decked in white waiting for you seventeen years after/ i’ve known love to be how you roll your eyes/ as my fingers search for my name in your pussy/ you say, “fuck me, fuck me, my love”/ what the fuck does fuck mean to a five year old boy/ playing with water and body in a bathtub with an area sister/ who calls him names sweet like february oranges?/ the inch you sucked is eight now/ i’ve grown remembering/ still i do not remember your face/ but/ i remember what leaving meant/ i saw you the other afternoon/ you took my friend in/ the keyhole is a lousy bitch/ the keyhole told me what to see/ the keyhole broke me into shreds/ into what remained in a poet carrying winds in his throat/ how do you feel when someone else wears your skin/ how do you feel when music becomes sore in your throat/ that evening, you ended me/ beach formed in my face/ the becoming of things quickly dissolved in water/ no one knows what you carry when you wear your own grief/ when love for you, is the way you make a woman moan/ when the woman gives you your own death and tells you, “drink”/ “it’s life afterall”/ the pastor said love is life/ love is the savior of things fallen beneath the ground/ i am still here/ remembering how I fell/ how love took me in and punctured my skin/ 1999/ i carry my own body and mourn with my demons.



About the Author

Adedayo Agarau is a photographer and poet, author of For Boys Who Went and curator of the Ibadan based photo-documentary, @wallsofibadan on Instagram. He writes from Ondo where he studies to be a Nutritionist.

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3 Responses to “Revisiting Childhood | Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau | Poetry” Subscribe

  1. OsyMizpah 2017/12/18 at 05:12 #

    Very beautifully written.

  2. Har_lee_mah 2017/12/21 at 16:25 #

    Wow… Lovely write-up and I am moved to tears

  3. Micheal Ace 2018/07/09 at 02:43 #

    Man, the grief is eternal.

    This is a wonderful way to explore poetry.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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