a preacher said gay men are dead men.
i wake up to the smell of burnt men in my veins,
i swear i do not know how they got there,
sometimes i see fire in the mouths of young boys
and all i want to do is kiss them to sleep.
it’s not sunday
but men will write fire on the skin
of lovers and call it God’s word.
to kill a man
place a tyre over his head,
set it on fire
but ashes are not dead men,
they are bodies flying to freedom.
even with chains you can’t stop a man
from loving another man.
the rains are here again,
bringing rivers to bodies on fire.
the preacher said gay men will burn in hell.
i swear my tongue burns every time
i say the word love, i do not know
when men began to burn men
for saying the word love
but i know that a man in love
is so close to God,
he can hear his heart beat.
theory of dark rooms
i have lived in rooms
that fold their hands over my eyes,
dawn teases curtains with light
before returning to dreams.
the serpent is an early riser,
the voice of God comes after nakedness.
the doctor asked the reasons for my aloneness,
I folded my tongue into a dark room and answered:
there are many reasons for dark rooms.
- we were born to sadness.
- the world covered our skin with dead faces.
- our aloneness is a being that speaks to walls.
- no one listened to the songs in our blood.
- the songs we heard drowned in rivers of days.
- we are waiting for someone.
- love should come to desolate cities.
- our stories are filled with lonely windows.
- we have learnt to live in our world.
- there are spaces in our bones where someone has gone missing.
- there are eyes that hold only empty rooms.
we sit by windows, waiting for a voice, for a familiar footstep, for a face that will bring an end to the sky that holds broken stories over our heads.
Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun recently published a chapbook called Burnt Men, for free download here.