August 16: Life Happened

The other day
I wrote a letter to myself

If I promised you the stars
Would that make you happy?
Would you unfold the wings that
hide in you?

It’s hard to tell, I write back
Life happened
As it tends to happen
We become the thing we fear
We become our fathers

We make their mistakes
And inherit their unfulfilled dreams
These are the weighted heirlooms
We pass onto our children

So do I promise you one of the
lost heavens?
Did you learn to feel?
To read the braille on your soul?

I say I’ve learned new things
Like how constant self-love is hard
And I need someone else to try
On days when I can’t understand
How I came to be friends with myself

My toddling successes
Have made me afraid
Afraid to fail; afraid to live
Life happens
As it tends to happen
We become the thing we feared
I want to unhappen life

On days when the nothingness
Threatened to drown me
A choir of tiny faiths would often save me
Faiths that the world had buried in me
I could hear them sing
A million broken hallelujahs
And all of them were for me.

My fattened fears were singing too
Singing my oríkì, saying, Kábíyèsí
A river flows in you.


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