samuel a. adeyemi

"AT THE MENTION OF GRIEF"
content warning for self-harm

You call me poet—I am just nineteen &
elevating grief; all my verses, siblings

holding themselves. Or is it not the same
penury pouring into another page?

A different colour, the same prism.
Darling, tell me if I repeat myself.

My greatest fear is to finish a poem
& find another feeding on its silhouette.

Tell me if you tire from my lament.
I am aware that at the mention of
grief,

a poem begins to discolour—like
a bead of blood bruising water.

But is it not the misery that precedes the
verse? The cut is antecedent to the bleed.

I will not allow grief to scarlet a page, if
a blade never made a violin of my wrist.

Darling, are you still cynical of my malady?
Even now, two birds sing beside my window;

do not let the sky deceive you,
her clouds are not thicker than your despair.

& who am I to object this prickly crown?

Surely, they know the gloom of the heavens
well, that rain is more saltwater than rain.

Remember when I called misery a rope
pulling us to its peak? Verily, I have arrived.

Look at all the red spider lilies
hemming the precipice.

Samuel A. Adeyemi is a young writer from Nigeria. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, 580 Split, Leavings Lit Mag, Kissing Dynamite, The Shore, The Rising Phoenix Review, Jalada, and elsewhere. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching anime and listening to a variety of music. You may reach him on Twitter and Instagram @samuelpoetry