All Our Lives

poetry 0
Ojo Taiye


the stew sauce sizzles
little hope & joy accumulates

we are made of what we forgive
i go out for care, gaze & liquor

i am the sky & the borrowed light
an old porch hallowed by fireflies

once slave, once freed & now free
like always i find no refuge in history

it’s Father’s Day & i am filled with the
need to leave— toward home & i watch

the waves of love crash. i once dreamt
of my father’s gait, stylish & lingering—

we were boys once. & in our bellies,
the cottons of time. for i was two when

my dad said it was time go— his manly fingers
shrugging off my mother’s plea— another

wounded woman in the rain. the body sinks,
the heart inside it doesn’t— compassion is

like that, until is not. every pain i feel will have
started here, where on the first warm day of the year,

a newly married man slam-dunk his wife in the deli
across the neighborhood, only a week after nuptial

i have seen this before, & i am reminded, too of its
refrains— my mother’s rattled frame coming apart

in residue, then patina, then derelict. the salt of my
childhood clipped until loss emblazon my eyes

Ojo Taiye is an emerging artist and a dreamer. He is a graduate of Tansian University, where he studied Microbiology. As someone who loves language, he is interested in the intersection of memory, home, and storytelling. Alongside working for a rural hospital in Nigeria, Taiye is a freelance writer for many magazines. His poetry explores the power struggles, histories, and mythologies that inform the way we perceive ourselves and others, particularly relating to race or gender.