Ojo Taiye

“for the sake of care I write poems until my eyes crater for periods.“

Dreams for Hire

after Ilya Kaminsky & Jericho Brown
The lives I've chosen to live
Are enough to fill a room with
Newborn birds & ghosts.
Maybe nothing here is lovely.
Or maybe a child is most interesting
When he marvels at the swallow’s
Cry for home. Tonight, marks the
First day of spring in glitter.
& I think of the days when the
Accidental blood in my thighs meant
I am still searching for poems that come
Like gentle allies at midnight— a sort of
Ritual that will bring my mother & I closer.
I keep telling myself to walk as if my hand
Can comfort a human sculpture. The people

Of my country believe unhearing is our
Only barrier. I ruffle the pillows & I
Wonder if dancing at our bruises
Is a question of values. All things
Are migratory because we understand
Shadows. We recognize joy & gratitude in
Various stages of intimate. The skies of this
Poem are teeming with human rights & ideology—
I wear my country like a dress. In certain parts
Of the world, my body is an altar in disorder.
An island that smells of iodine & polyps.
Postmodernism is a disguise. Please don’t
Take me for tragic. The slatted light betrays
The most animal in us— I am a garland of bells
In this space of Brexit & borderlines. Like when a
Dead child is covered in petals & motherland
Undresses me & recounts: two million
Undocumented children.

Commentary from Ojo Taiye

“For some time now, I have been interested in using poetry as a form of activism. Earlier this year, I was fascinated or perhaps stricken when I came across this editorial piece. with regards to thousands of vulnerable people living in makeshift tents in Lesbos. I couldn't help but recast their palpable suffering, insidious hopelessness, & the feeling of abandonment. Reading their stories often felt unbearable, yet as much as I wanted to turn away, the desire to give a voice to this silenced people certainly hooked me. Finally, I recently wrote a poem which includes the following one liner; for the sake of care I write poems until my eyes crater for periods.”