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On days I want to come out


Sometimes I want to be full of gaiety like a school premises or the children's park


but my heart has grown cold feet & I have learnt to hold my body in seclusion because people with bruises are too marred to be named after a resort.


I resemble the night because my grief is black in complexion. The club down the block is a therapy for those held captive by their shadows & every brothel is akin to a roadside eatery & I bear the dust of goings on my skin—i have learned to be more empty after I tunnel my fingers through the hair of a needy body, after we ignite each other's passion like two matchsticks kissing each other’s ass.


Each night, I tarnish my image because memories are nightmares at the threshold of my sleep & I'm allergic to sunbeams. 


So on days I want to come out, I wear my grief heavier than my sighs, I become a dead trunk floating on an abandoned bay, a capsized ship, a dam with revolting turbulence of water. 


I relapse into brooding silence for I was carved on a disheartening day.






My grief in a nutshell


The night wears a bikini and makes love to my grief.

That's to say my soul is lifeless like a stuffed doll & my dreams are like phlegm stuck in the throat & like forgetful chicks, they never made their way home through the dark—

Besides, home is no place for my dreams because it's a misfit, a prayer ebbing into the distance. I'm filled with silence. Uproar won't partake in the stillness of graveyards. My body is a metaphor in ennui. A song of anguish unfurls itself in my mouth. My eyes are a footage of turbulence. My hands, a torn flag flailing in the wind. My heart, a hem sutured with pain. My legs, a tirade of memories falling, falling into the other end.

Kei Vough Korede (he/they) is a bi/queer poet writing from Nigeria. A reader of poetry chapbooks for Tyrian Ink Press, they have works published or forthcoming in Agbowo, Ethel Zine, Rogue Agent, PANK magazine and elsewhere. Flirt with him on Twitter @KayVough @brooklynjoybird.

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