Volume Four, Issue 4

Temidayo Jacob

darkness is not a foreign emotion in my country

ghosts are meant to be appeased, but my grandmother's ghost loves to be entertained. perhaps, it is a way to find mirth, a thing strange to her when she lived her life in a harvest of losses. i always know my grandmother is present in my room whenever the bulbs give up the ghost at night & the curtain at my window twirls a couple of times. i did not tell my parents that i used to dialogue with echoes in the dark. my grandmother's phantom likes to put heavy tales in my ears whenever she visits, & then she requests patronizingly for entertainment in return, she tells me about the undying love shared with her husband before death silenced her lover. about the war songs she chanted on the hospital bed before she departed. about the war in her coffin — a war without bloodshed. of what use is blood in a relic? when my grandmother is done with her tales, she graces them with a dirge & asks me to dance along. she has become addicted to me entertaining her in my room than i have become addicted to pleasuring myself in my bathroom whenever i need to purge myself of the grief welling in my body. darkness is not a foreign emotion in my country but when the lights go off, i know it is time again, to dance.


boy writes darkness upon his back
& refuses to turn it against the world.

someone behind calls it blasphemy
and prays that the boy be burnt alive

— he forgets God, at first, was darkness
before words made him become light,

& love, & other synonyms of purity like
[fill with synonyms of purity you know].

funny how things form only to unform
on the other side of love — chaos. ruins.

funny how we inhale same oxygen
& exhale different carbon-die-oxide —

some smoke, some sniff coke, & others
fall in love. we all die in different ways.

last night, i found true love, & right now,
i am running out of ways to commit sins.

maybe this is how death this gives
a headshot — maybe this is how i succumb.

I Want Someone to Beat Me Until I Cry & Die

i grew up in
the part of the world
where the sun burns you to ashes
for falling in love with someone with your
kind of flesh & boner. the first day my father
caught me kissing a boy, he held me roughly
by my ears and dragged me to church for
deliverance. after prayer, when the pastor
said goodness & mercies shall follow me
all the days of my life, what he meant was
that sticks & fire shall follow me as long as
I keep being gay, that i will never find peace
and happiness in getting the kind of love i want.
it was at that moment i knew the church is the
wrongest place to profess love – the wrongest
place to say "i do" to my lover. sometimes i just
want someone to beat me until i weep & sleep
forever. tomorrow will be the 365th time i would
get beaten by an angry mob for making love to
boys i cherish in my own room. & maybe tomorrow,
if they don't burn me to ashes like the sun does, they
would just beat me till I cry & die. it is hard here.
i want to lust after tears until i become dust.

Temidayo Jacob (he/him): "I am passionate about espousing the conflict between the individual and society. I am the Creative Director of foenix press. I am also the author of Beauty Of Ashes. My work has appeared and is forthcoming on Rattle, Outcast Magazine, Lucent Dreaming, The Temz Review, Peeking Cat Poetry, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and others. You can reach me on Twitter @Temiddayo."

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