Waiting & Other Poems
Frida Asks If He Will Love Her On New Year’s Eve
When Frida Kahlo took her first solo trip abroad, Picasso gave her earrings, and the Louvre bought a painting. On returning home, she divorced her husband Diego Rivera, and painted “Self Portrait With Cropped Hair”.
on the eve of 1940
i imagine a restless Frida
in a satin slip
once held her in a warm embrace
by the love of her life
her eyes catch the glare
of the shears as her hair
had become a noose
around the portrait of her ex-lover
cradling her scalp while he slept
what psalms does she say
as the mist in the skies clear
welcome a new morning?
i imagine the first chop
long enough to save face
unwrap a love morphing into grief and guilt
knuckles deaf from clutching the shears
as more hair fell
clumped at her feet
shoulders solemnly rocking to the new lullaby of the new wind
what does she feel as the fireworks litter the skies to break in a new morning?
I once saw the fiery yellow sun
Grow red and tender
The limbs of the sunflowers
Unsure of how to stay open as the day fell
Like I sometimes felt in the nook of your arms.
Yes, I finally got upset with myself
And blocked your number. But
Before then, I video-called you.
To show you the sight from that rooftop in Marina,
To tell you how the subtle violet colour in the sky clashed
With the dark yellow of the sun as it sets.
How the sullen nature of the clouds
made the scene a miracle to me.
In a previous draft of this poem, I wrote you
About this place I often wake from.
How cheesy! Oh silly me!
Looks like my one greatest love
Has solemnly returned, quiet.
On that video call, the small things
Of my life felt rapturable as I watched the crooked nature
Of your smile grow wide. This staying open
Like the worst hangover from a high.
I had to know I wasn’t alone. I had to know
If you would miss me when I am gone.
a poem where i become unhinged
i wanted to sit still in silence till the volume of voices in my head grew
leaving me at the mercy of my own body
to save myself or flee?
to sink or fly?
to scream or whisper?
what is this film of faux salvation on my wounds?
i want i want so fucking much
it is hard to carefully place a hush finger on the collective voices in my head
i am not sick
i can’t be sick
my wants have turned my mouth into an open wound and my body into a chair rocking itself into oblivion
my hands is always outstretched and empty
on this day, i left my house in a different body. i came back in a body that wasn’t mine.
the body knows.
the body hides.
the body becomes a river with no banks.
Iyanuoluwa Adenle is a writer from Nigeria. Her works make a conscious attempt to explore the human conditions based on grief, loss, and love. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Cosmonauts Review, Blue Earth Review, 20.35 Africa, Olongo, Kissing Dynamite, Lolwe, Onejacar, Empty Mirror, African Writer, Kalahari Review, and elsewhere.