My Mother is a Flower Addicted to Darkness

Akinmoyeje Timileyin


Every night

Mother tells the story of a girl on whose lap

a continent is tattooed in blood (this girl is my mother).

She teaches us to go to vigils

To offer prayers

to a god(silence) that smokes our voices

and puffs them into the night (in resounding echoes).



Mother likes to wear darkness as a dress; she is a rose with no color

“The night is indeed beautiful and it will protect you”, She says


Tell me mother,

how does a flower thrive without light?



Yesterday, mother called me a Taboo

Yesterday, I leaned

towards the Rays that traveled through those cracks

in our prayer house.

Tomorrow, I will walk in these lights- a new born

I will hold on to this thread of hope

that the light would not burn my skin.

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