today, i am the little crow that gloom has nothing against. lightning bugs find a home under my nails. i choose life, untethered from the clasp of time & existence. the art of living is not so hard to learn. there is beauty in the ephemeral. re-see these familiar elements. embrace the inalienable order of existence. remake failure into a bulwark. scab. permit broken flesh the touch of a miracle. beat a drum to the chorus of death & watch it wiggle its waist as it traces the path to hell. when the world shakes you to your core, remember the noose is neither a pendant nor a latchet holding the key to your reprieve. faith's loud growl shrinks into a whimper. you wave a fist at God's face. & you are graced with the sound of emptiness. mettle. this is the art of living. tuck iris into the apron of time & watch it bloom. let this poem be a testament to our flinty souls. _____________________________ cut me open my desires drag me to the altar again – an offering. & as i knee, i only blaze till my marrow became ash. a sacrifice unacceptable. & the ash got mixed with tears of angels mourning this fall. a drink offering. i am a deer lost on a plain with no river in sight. raptured in a race, longing to flee myself. to place an axe on this temple & begin the ritual of destruction. i have been a specimen on time's dissecting table. again & again, you cut me open but the lump is deeper than a man could reach. i plummeted. singed. in this garden, i watch roots of trees shrink from the fountain. lead me to the threshing floor–beat the shaft from the grain. tuck me into the waiting hands of grace. God, save me from wrecking this temple.
Damilola Omotoyinbo, Frontier XIX, is a Nigerian Creative Writer. A Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency. Damilola got the Lolwe Classes Scholarship and was longlisted for 2022 African Writers Awards. She has work published or forthcoming on Brittle Paper, Agbowó, Pepper Coast Lit, Afritondo, Better Than Starbucks, Praxis, Nigerian Tribune Newspaper and elsewhere. Damilola studied Biochemistry, you can say hi to her on IG @ damilola_omotoyinbo or Twitter @creative_riter.