Applying Psalms 121 to a Gentile

     Samuel A. Adeyemi

 

Some years ago, I began shredding

my tongue, crumbling the chapel

 

once built in my mouth.   I retired

my eyes watching the hills—they sang,

 

help will somebody water down, but daily

I died of thirst.   Once, I tried to fetch God

 

with language; my voice—white ink

stitching white paper.   There were no

 

angels to colour my ache.   Perhaps

I'm oblivious to the dialect of heaven,

 

I gave God a wound to heal & he placed

a ribbon around the bleed.   As if to say,

 

look at your blood, pray & it will blue into

a stream.   But I do not know what to

 

weave from faith.   Prayer reminds me

what absence tethers me from,

 

when I fold myself to kneel as a saint,

a lily wilts before my teeth.   As if to say,

 

crawl to your mother's feet & confess your

unbelief.   How do I say I am a church bell

 

swaying without its tongue?   Her heart—

a holy book my chaos must not set on fire.

Samuel A. Adeyemi is a young writer from Nigeria. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, 580 Split, Kissing Dynamite, The Shore, Jalada, and elsewhere. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching anime and listening to a variety of music. You may reach him on Twitter and Instagram @samuelpoetry.