Like any fatherless 
ache, the origin of 

my displacement is 
untraceable: the finger 

working the puzzle 
of my life, going in 

circles. I am mostly 
irritable in my crisis. 

Room full of smoke,
but I cannot find 

the fire. The wisps, 
blue, mellowing 

in every damn cell. 
I have to justify 

my anger. Every 
martyr should know 

the nexus of their 
torture. We should 

point at the heart 
of our agony & say, 

I have found where 
the rain began. All 

I see is the torrent, 
the sky's wet proof.

It comes in waves, 
crashing inside 

my head, the arrows 
pouring from every 

cloud. First, the fire, 
now the flood. Ash

water possessing me. 
Again, vexation. 

I seethe for the 
cowardice of disorder.

How chaos is both 
present & obscure. 

You should not
watch me as I rage, 

as I punish myself 
for the tumult of my 

spirit. If you must, 
sit far away. Let me 

cleave half moons in-
to my wrist. Anything 

to illuminate the vein, 
brighten its dark 

pool till it fluxes, 
watering with light. 

Or come. Together,
we would river 

the blood. Then, we 
would dismember 

my cursed limbs from 
their roots. I would bear 

my body bare before 
the blade—blood on 

my wrist from the 
heart on my sleeve. 

Now, you would take 
the knife. You must not 

be afraid. Often, pain 
is pain numbing 

another pain. What 
I have lost will be 

replaced, as ache 
cancels ache. I trust 

the knife & its swift 
descent. Whatever 

bone is cut will sprout 

About the Author:

Samuel A. Adeyemi is a Poetry Editor at Afro Literary Magazine. A Best of the Net Nominee and Pushcart Nominee, he is the winner of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize 2021. His chapbook, To Erase the Wound, was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set, 2022. His works have appeared—or are forthcoming—in Palette PoetryFrontier Poetry580 SplitStrange HorizonsAgbowoBrittle PaperJalada, and elsewhere.

Feature image by blauthbianca / Pixabay