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Applying Psalms 121 to a Gentile

Samuel 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.

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