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Town Crier

     Ìfẹ́olúwa Àyàndélé

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.

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