I mourn for memories at the entrance of a wound — Two Poems by Oyekunle Ifeoluwa Peter
November 28, 2021
Oyekunle Ifeoluwa Peter presents two poems with the underlying themes of grief, loss and pain, all of which are ontologically located within the geography of a body or within the fragile edifice of being. Both poems convey a maturity that is spiritual and offer verses that communicate the perseverance of a poetic voice that has oared through hurricanes and storms, within and without.


You wouldn’t want to ask why I adore my grief
or how else would I know the depth of things I’ve lost?
A home will sink itself at the prime of a ruin
and teach itself to laugh under the weight of loss.
I swear I held no grudge when my grandmother said
that the things I hold so dear will later haunt my name.
Forgive me if this spits chaos into your bones—
so grave that you now fan a pain at the heart of a scar.
In this museum of grief, every wound grinds my name—
every wound that bleeds silence at the mention of a grave.
And Lord, what weight befalls me at the jaw of a rib
what tongue would persecute a slough at the sight of an eve?
I must not love a city that will not hold my hands—
one that draws joy with stencils at the back of an ache.
And damn! What body leads one into hollows and voids?
What soul forsakes a body at the nose of a wound?
I swear I truly don’t know what to make of this loss
that gaslights guilt and silence with artefact of names.
I hope you’ll find a reason not to forsake this poem—
not to forsake a teardrop that lodges in your ribcage.
I tried to name an ending before its beginning—
to launch myself towards a city that I can run into.
My conscience psalms my longing with memories of loss
and I stomach a teardrop that must not see the light.

The Night as a Shelter for Memories and Songs

Deceit starts with the phrase, “love will shelter a thorn”
and this poem begins here with a hurricane and a storm.
A home will lose its eminence at the mouth of the grave
every time a girl drowns with love buried in her throat.
The night will fold itself into memories and songs
and grief will carve a bar at the corridor of our mouths.
There are so many coracles sinking dreams in this place—
so many punctured ambitions at the heart of a plague.
I swear I do not mean to morph these thoughts into sighs
or to scare you from worshipping this twilight as a god.
There are so many bodies that won’t survive this night—
so many empty cartridges at the claim of a bone.
The seas will test our faith in re-emerging scars—
hold our presence to ransom at the beckon of a loss.
But in this hall of fame, I know names after my grief
and I mourn for memories at the entrance of a wound.

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About the Contributor

<a href="https://www.inversejournal.com/author/ifeoluwapeter/" target="_self">Oyekunle Ifeoluwa Peter</a>

Oyekunle Ifeoluwa Peter

Oyekunle, Ifeoluwa Peter is an award-winning Nigerian poet. His writings have been published in Kalahari Review, Rockvale Review, Ngiga Review, Hornpond Review, Echelon Review, and elsewhere. A Best of the Net nominee, whenever he is not writing, he is either teaching Chemistry to random kids or finding home in piano keys.