Poetry Suite by Fisayo Adeyeye

Editor Carrie Ivy, Poetry, November 21st, 2016

"Do you still believe that a wound is the only proof you will ever need?"

Fisayo Adeyeye Poetry Nailed Magazine




I’ll be brief. There were fruit stems, dried.
Shredded wings. A body to salt the earth.
His father shearing the lamb’s fur
and spreading it over his broad shoulders.
Tall grass cut down to his hips. I held out
the blade. As if to say you cannot predict
its future. But you can always predict.
It will do what it was made to do. If
it was made. Nobody said it was me,
they didn’t need to. I was the dog,
the metaphor in the mouth of the gun that
didn’t fire, but wanted so badly for a tiny
finger to hold it tight. Collapse as a body
forgetting one word / and then the next
and then the next. Collapse as a body decaying
into mold and grass. Do you still believe that
a wound is the only proof you will ever need?
His cheek scrapes the hard bark, and the bullet
shells fly past his face. The boy can never be sure
what doesn’t kill him is not still trying. But
knows if he looks deep enough into the barrel,
he can see almost anything in anything.
The arrows song. The burden / of proof.

+ + +



A god eating his boy on the banks.
This is a dream: the lamb gutted
and hung, smoke stained.
The braided strand of hair hanging
down his mother’s cheek.
The very word hung pulled over
the fire as the body turns,
skin around soft muscles
still hardening, splitting,
blackening under the hot mouth
of the flame. In the night,
the pup pushing through the plastic,
feather-mouthed: coughing
and pink. In the morning,
the calcified remains already
leaving, already stripping
from skin to ghost.

+ + +



He closes his eyes and paints a portrait
in the girl’s panicked hands reaching
for his head to push under, to lift herself up,
as they both drown. They will write songs
about this. The bride of Christ,
the water a dress. Ocean-jawed: wide
as anything, an apology she never needed.
The shirt gapes, the hips open and open.
The boy pulls at the peach fuzz from
under his boxers. Burns, and wet,
he burns longer. He stares at the red gums
but knows better than to eat a gods fruit.
Another garden, another snake. Another prayer
stretched through taut skin. Another hip
as a foothold. Another shoulder blade as
a place for leverage. Another river
breaking through, as it always does.

+ + +

Passed Over


Though I walk through the valley of the shadow,
though I walk as shadow, though I linger in death,
I will be / brief. Mary did you know how the child’s
mouth would become an offering? How good
it would look in an open lipped gape on a plate of gold?
Take the boy from the field. Take him anywhere
that his dry hair won’t break like wheat. Here is the child
now, pressing his lips into each piece of cold steel,
carrying a cross into his bedroom and dragging
it onto his bed, fingerprints bruised into his arms. How
fiercely he holds your love against himself, against war.
How gently he holds your love / against love.

+ + +

Header image courtesy of Faith47. To view her Artist Feature, go here.

Fisayo Adeyeye Poetry Nailed MagazineFisayo Adeyeye is the author of Cradles (Nomadic Press 2017), the current Poetry Editor of Fourteen Hills, a Co-Curator of the VelRo Graduate Reading Series, and he has works published in The Collapsar, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and The Wildness.


Carrie Ivy

Carrie Ivy (formerly Carrie Seitzinger) is Editor-in-Cheif and Co-Publisher of NAILED. She is the author of the book, Fall Ill Medicine, which was named a 2013 Finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Ivy is also Co-Publisher of Small Doggies Press.