My mother's womb is my place of transformation,
water becoming being, becoming a body
curled like a cat on the floorboard. I'm a child
of many droplets of water and my body
is a mixture of clay and water. I carry my food
tube around my neck like a pendant that hides
the picture of my past life and it’s connected
to my mother’s, and we eat from the same bowl.
I live in my mother's pool, swimming, and kicking
her, I speak from the depth of water and my tongue
is a flowing stream, mixing words to form a language
that flows from my parents' mouths. I heard
my mother's voice, like the barn owl, singing: hallelujah,
raising her hands and jumping in worship, but, I’m held
by a water bag and I can’t join her in her song.
I will break the water bag and jump into humid sheets
with my wails like the town crier’s voice breaking the night.
Ìfẹ́olúwa Àyàndélé is from Tede, Nigeria. He is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Florida State University. His work is nominated for The Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net. His work is published in Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Another Chicago Magazine, The South Carolina Review, Stonecoast Review, Moon City Review, Noctua Review, The McNeese Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, Harbor Review, Rattle, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. He presently lives in Tallahassee, Florida.