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"How to Paint A Wound" by Adesiyan Oluwapelumi

Boys like me make art of our misery,

our fingers fiddling on the canvas of worries.

We box into silence, our body swallowing

every pinch of its breath. Sigh. This is me

exhaling the shards of fractured dreams.

In my mouth, a laughing jackal howls

fettered with the bars of sadness.

Doc, like a toddler with crayons,

I am painting the horror landscape

of my wounds and I do not paint well:

the sun morphing into a bleeding heart,

the sky becoming a blanket whetted with

brown gasoline. There's a song in my head,

and it's a melody of disasters and noise.

Say I, crash course of suffering toggling

through a first-hand tutoring in depression.

Say boy and by boy, I mean broken.

Say broken body, stay broken and if not

stay unbroken. I do not know the mend

for a scar or how seizures metamorphose

into scientific genius. My madness is

the noose over my head catting every rat

of my severed throat. Let's stay broken

and by broken, I mean boy and by boy I mean

human and by human, I mean broken god.


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