OLD DOMINION | ADEDAYO ADEYEMI AGARAU
[for ashabbbi, black-aqua]
the exit door is black. your body is black
too. the river flowing from your mother's back
is black. i, pretending to perfectly love you, am
a black bird thrown away in wild wind. home,
the bullet hole behind your father's head, is black.
your nipples are black. my mouth, a cathedral half-
rented like a family torn apart, like a body continually
splitting, like your broken necklace, is black.
the exit door is black. & what colour do we give the shadow
of a black girl. it is in your voice, it is in your voice, the aching.
once, i held your hand, it creaked like an ancient walkway, &
nothing else shakes us from the root like life does. your father's
songs ask if i was the chosen one. me? a flower growing out of
a wrist cut? the milk left in a dead cow's breast? a song that never
starts? i am just another broken palette recklessly spinning…
but you are enough. too enough to be asked if a boy would
mean happiness to you. sadness is black. & beautiful.
Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau is a Nigerian documentary photographer documenting the largest city in West Africa. He studies Human Nutrition & loves food like air.
Cover image by Tyler Brewington: closeup of mineral deposit in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.