by Samuel Adeyemi
Murder by a scalpel is pronounced death,
not surgery. There is no intricacy
when the blade drowns in a body, whirling
inside like a wet threading of gut.
Whatever the instrument, do not hesitate
to call your suffering by its name.
It won’t soften it, but it will unshroud the
mystique. I have stared at my misery
for so long, it seems less oblique. How this
works—the fangs still terrify, but they
look just like teeth. The tissue, death-sharp
yet quite familiar in its whiteness.
Our prophets have always been about pre-
tending. They think calling a wound
a flower will taper its ache, sugar the poison
that mars the blood. But the first step
to wholeness has always been recognition.
It is a lie that the lie will be
the genesis of healing. The greatest miracle
lies within the same truth we are taught
to abandon. When you stare at the mirror, do
not invert the image. There, your open
chest. Gaze. Is that a nail where your heart
used to be? Wipe off the honey & tell
the wound as it is. Metal organ. Blood rust.
Why must we wait until our suffering
ends before we name it? What happens when
we are the ones outlived? I have chosen
to resit the ritual of time, to call every bruise
by its colour. For what is a scar,
if not a wound waiting to become? Come
unto me. I will show you where I hurt
on the river’s body. Look. I am touching
all over the water.