Anxiety is a way of life
Like a sieve, I am drained
Of every dewdrop of happiness
Through the mesh of my hollow body.
And I– dust in the fireworks of light
Escape the drizzling storms of darkness.
I– billowed tusk of winterbourne
Streaming down into a gorge
Of landscaped realities
Acculturate the mimesis of shame.
Here, fear is a fleece wool
Unfurling in the cotton eyes
Of a cowardly man.
And every prayer is the blossoming
Of nightmares, before they ripen
In the garden of dreams.
The cremains of dead memories
Haunt us alike.
In fragments, we break into our death.
Say every light born of darkness
Must return in a wave-tide motion
to its origin.
Say the mind is a haunted gallows
And we wheel thoughts along
Like cringing vehicles enduring
The bruising art of locomotion.
Say to move is to steer the gears of the mind
In a non-decipherable conveyance.
The body knows the littlest wounds.
Every ache– a mountain depressing
Under the gravity of tactility.
I touch this skin
And it sheds into an ecdysis of monologue.
I am still waiting for what
Anxiety is a culture
And here, I robe myself with the regalia
Of a holy pessimist.
Adesiyan Oluwapelumi, TPC XI, is a young genre-bending creative who writes from Oyo State, Nigeria. He writes to explore themes of identity, religion, and selfhood. Some of his works are published/forthcoming in Poetry Wales, Visual Verse, Kissing Dynamite, IceFloe Press, Unstamatic, Afristories, Opinion Nigeria, Eunoia Review, Fiery Scribe Review, Salamander Ink, African Writer Magazine, Brittle Paper, Lumiere Review, Asterlit & CultureCult Press among many other publications and anthologies. Oluwapelumi is the winner of the Cheshire White Ribbon Day Creative Competition (2022). He is also an Honourable Mention recipient in the Coexist Lit International Metamorphosis Writing Contest & the Winter Starlit Award 2022. He reads poetry for The Kitchen Table Quarterly. You can find him on Twitter: @ademindpoems, on Instagram: @ademind17, and on Facebook @Adesiyan Pelumi.