Every Morning I Renew My Vow

 

one day before we clean the

morning dews from our windows,

mother held my right wrist,

bent slightly and pointed:

 

“see! that house houses bodies

taking the shapes god does not like,

never let your feet touch its sand.”

 

to which i unthinkingly replied:

 

“but mum,

everyone enters the temple

barefooted.”

 

by this i mean:

 

i. everyone enters the temple barefooted

 

ii. everyone enters the temple but mum

 

she squinted to confirm if it was really me,

or a possessed me – by the masquerade

in the four-angled dark bottle.

 

she didn’t know;

 

that the wings of my soul move

with the air travelling into your room

on the back of a lustful wind;

 

that i am the ventilation

soothing the body of your body,

touching you in a way that

you become wet;

 

that the tongue of my spirit

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has memorized the thousand tastes

dripping from your milky nipples

whenever they harden;

 

that some voices reign in the

whorehouse, so subtle that

god hears them first.

 

she pointed out, “never you disbelieve,

never you know the smell of liquor, never

you let your tongue knows its taste.”

 

i vowed in affirmative, pressing my

finger against the tip of my tongue

and pointing it to the eye of the sky.

 

but the wine you carry on your lips has

made me compromise again & again;

 

every morning i renew my vow

in mother’s absence – pressing my

finger against the tip of my tongue

and pointing it to the eye of the sky.

 

and every night,

i break them against your lips,

mine rubbing against yours, so much

that they become water leaves holding

the morning dews to their bodies.

 

i want my rosaries count your names

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in the narrow path of your temple

and, cult-like, i want to move my body

in response to your resounding litanies.

 

i’m not an hallelujah boy, but

i want to sing with you the praises

of eros & worship her by your altar.

so help me god, amen.

 

 

 

The Psalm of Water

 

a camel may not pass the eyes of a needle

but a needle can travel the camel’s body in a million ways

i can count the days i walk into/over the body of water

but i lost count weighing the size of water in my body

last night i read to myself the names of water:

rain. river. dew. spring. stream. ocean. sea. pond. fountain. waterfall.

& i asked if i should include urine, sweat & tears.

may the spring in my mistress’s chest bear me witness;

may the rain i fall between her thighs join this testimony –

i know the names of water. & i know liquids that are not water.

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***

Taofeek Ayeyemi fondly called Aswagaawy is a Nigerian writer whose works have appeared in The Quills, 100Bards of 2019, Tuck Magazine, Nthanda Review, Kalahari Review, Akitsu Quarterly, Wales Haiku Journal, Frogpond, Seashores, Presence, The Mamba and elsewhere. He won the 2018 PoeticWednesday Poetry Contest; First Runner-up 2016 Okigbo Poetry Prize and Honorable Mention Prize, 2019 Morioka International Haiku Contest, among others.

Categories: Poetry

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