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Wolf. by Romeo Oriogun

I get it, I swear I do.
A boy is a body into your past,
I smile and my father and his father fall out of my mouth.
You said turn, you said get ready for inspection.
You search my body for teeth marks,
the transfusion of that gene that breaks a woman
into a weeping garden,
perhaps this was why you threw holy water on me,
said a crucifix would also do.
Perhaps this was why you broke me into songs
and allowed your tongue to sample the taste of my blood,
because a man burnt your mother
and she became the night and she squeezed her knuckles
into your mouth and said taste.
I know why you begged to sun to stay,
you were looking for the man with fire,
the one who burnt your mother
and left scars on your face,
I know why you smiled when you saw my body
smooth like water,
you told me the first night you opened your skin
to me, I won't kill you, freedom is the gift
of starting over.
The first time I heard your voice it was water
running over pebbles and I knew how
beauty sounds like flowers
opening their lips to the sun
and I won't tell you how I mourned my body,
how I burnt it with fire till the wolf died
and I was no longer scared of the moon.


Romeo Oriogun's poems have been featured or are forthcoming in Kalahari Review, Brittle Paper, African Writer, Sankofa, amongst others. He's the author of Burnt Men (Praxis, 2016). He writes and lives in Ikare-Akoko, a sleepy town in Western Nigeria