Thing 1 & 2

Osun (Giseli Magalhães)

Osun [Giseli Magalhães]

Thing 1 was not thirsty,
but I offered him a drink.
He drank till my cup was empty
and threw me in me to sink.

I struggled back to shore,
you can bet that I was sore,
but Thing 2 grabbed me by my finger,
and told me his intentions were pure.

The river of love is full again,
the river of love is me,
but Thing 2 is still famished,
’cause my cup was smashed at sea.

So tell me, ìyá mi ‘Kojú,
help me make my strength from you. 
How do you tell yourself that Thing 1
is everything but nothing like Thing 2?

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Test Your Love on Yourself First

Portrait of a Girl by Akinola Lasekan

Painted by A. Lasekan

Test your love on yourself first
before you offer it to someone else.
How can your body and soul
completely give out something that
they don’t even really have?

Are you saving all your love for someone,
for someone else,
that is not you,
without saving some of your love,
not even some,
for yourself?

When Death Loves You

She married Death so she would not die.
She gave him her love,
everything she had,
everything she was,
and Death loved her very much,
so much so that he wanted
to please her completely;
he wanted to be with her
for the rest of his death.
So, he let her come first;
he put her on top of his list.

Love is a Butterfly

If you truly love a butterfly,
you ought to let her fly.
She’ll show you her buttery side if you do.
If you open your palm wide enough,
she’ll always perch in it if she wants you.
Don’t break her wings off
because your fears make you want to.
If you squeeze her in,
you would either weaken her
or make her cry,
or make her die,
and at any chance she gets to be free,
she’ll fly far away
and never come back again. 

A Damn Mess

I was licking my wounds
but you stopped me.
You wanted to do it
so I let you.
You licked and sucked till
my wounds became scars.
Then, you cut me again
at the exact same spots.

So, here I am, a damn mess,
studying our synastry chart
for the 50th time,
fiddling with tarot cards,
tiredlessly hoping you’d come back.
I want your tongue and yours alone,
and I know that even if you return,
you would lick me up
so you can cut me again.

Love and Imperfection

We strive to touch the stars;
we reach for them.
We crave to hold them in our palms
but we often forget that
stars have sharp ends.

When we get pinched,
we doubt that what we have is a star.
“This can’t be it;
this can’t be all I’ve dreamed of.”

So, we release it;
we let it go.
We begin to confuse ourselves.

We tell ourselves that a moon
can make a better star
because it doesn’t look like
it has sharp ends,
but the moon usually ends up being
either too big for us to carry
when it is full,
or sharper than the star
when it has proper blades-
when it is a half-moon or a crescent.

When we get hurt again,
when reality sets in once more,
we move to the sun.
We say-
“the sun looks more stable;
it’s far better than the rest”,
but we usually get burned instead.

We return to the star
in a worse condition
than we would have been
if we had been patient,
if we had stayed with it,
but it may or may not
let us hold it in our palms again.
It may or may not take us back.

So has it been with many things;
so has it been with love.

Wounded Healer III

Goddess of Forests

I’m shedding everyone’s tears
but I can’t shed my own.
I’ve got it all under control in public;
I’m a mess when I’m alone.
Pain has injected itself into me;
I can feel it bite through each bone.
I’m decaying on the inside,
but this body is not mine to disown.

My heart and soul are drowning,
and I can’t stretch my hands
to reach them through my throat.
They’ve absorbed too much;
they’re heavy,
but I can’t save them.
I can’t drain the tears and blood;
I can’t heal them.

So, I’ll shed my tears through my mouth.
I’ll cry with my hands and feet,
with my words,
and with my songs,
and with my dance,
till I feel my heartbeat.
I’ll shed my tears as sweat;
they can’t pass through my eyes just yet.

Spaces and Phases: Something

“She’s nothing without me.”

You made her “nothing”.
She wasn’t “nothing” before you met her;
you only chose to not see her as something.

At that time,
she found it hard to believe
that she was something herself,
that she still is.
She was very sure sometimes,
and she wasn’t, at other times;
she was so vulnerable.

It was up to you to make her believe
that she was something,
that she had always been something,
but since you wanted to have total control,
you were so afraid that she could realize
she is something with or without you,
and she would leave you someday,
you convinced her that she is something,
but only with you.

You locked her in your arms,
then you locked her in her brain cell.
You didn’t let her become
what she already was- something-
and something more.

You didn’t make her something;
you made her some thing.

She Suffers: The Woman Proposed

Yesterday, you braced yourself.
With all the courage that you had,
you told them how you really felt,
and what all your affection meant.

Today, they told you that they loved you;
they’ve shown you life and it’s brand new.
They’ve come to make your dark sky blue;
there’s nothing, for them, that you wouldn’t do.

Tomorrow, you’re going to have a fight;
the things they’ll say are going to hurt you.
If you threaten to leave if they don’t change,
they’ll react in a way that you’ll find strange.
The words they’ll say will be quite true,
“I didn’t come to you first,
I didn’t want you.”

In-form-ation II

Everybody wants to advise you;
everybody wants to contribute their two cents,
even when they need it more than you do.
Everybody wants to dissect you into two;
“I’m not a fish, honey;
you musn’t be a fish too.”
Everybody wants to teach you what they know,
whether or not it’s the truth.