take away the grief and the guilt, there’s only

so much this mouth can take, so much these lips

can carry.


i sing, i strain this throat till tears replace these lyrics

& pain become all that’s left of a simple melody, a


missed note. i talk, butterflies sprout out of my

belly, painting pictures that love once thrived, once died,



i’m no stranger to disappointments, not anymore. i heard

you on the phone last night, your hushes soft as a night’s breeze,

but still, nothing but thunder struck these skies.

there’s only a few secrets a broken ear can’t crack.


i’ve thrived in the darkest of rooms, found light in this hollow

of a skin. even the sun cowers at the sight of what’s between

this ribcage.



Odemakin Taiwo Hassan is a Nigerian student, poet and writer. His works have appeared in Best New African Poets Anthology, Liminal Transit Review, Praxis Magazine and Iman Magazine to mention a few. When he’s not writing, he’s either listening to music or watching TV series.