Say cheese. Let the seven heavens come to your
aid. Touch the sun and kiss the colour of the moon.
Open your window and let it be day. Look for a linen
and a scarlet, stitched by pretty palms of a calm tailor
who shelters his heart like a dove. Snatch the frag--
rance of the sun. Invite the odour of the rain. Lay it
upon your bed. I will be there when the day ages.
I will be there at dawn, before the sky defines itself.
I will be there when the wind is violent than the river.
I will be behind your door and beside the heart of your
chaos. Even when you are asleep. Even behind your
pillowcase. I will be there before your breakfast; be--
fore the burden of the day sits on your neck; before
your radio announce the death of a young man, inno--
cent like the flesh of your palms. My child, I am your
mother. Look at your back. What did you see? Like
my promise, I will be there when the earth begins
to shake and the clouds begin to wither. When the
day goes off and you are alone. I will not become
a bird and vanish. I will not be my country. I will plant
a hole in your palm for God's protection to germinate.
Ayòdéjì Israel is a poet, writer and editor. He is from the Southwestern part of Nigeria. His works have appeared/forthcoming on Livina Press, Defunct Magazine, Lumiere Review, Kreative Diadem, OneArtPoetry, Arts Lounge and antinarrative zine. You can find him on Twitter @Ayo_einstein.