Friday, March 13, 2020

Everything About Today is Violet

by Bacopa Literary Review Senior Editor Mary Bast

Today the US President has declared a National Emergency, and we are reminded of our connection to all living beings, beginning with the animals we slay and eat and from which COVID-19 leapt across species, stretching to our fellow human beings around the globe during a time of shared crisis.

We are reminded that those of us who lead relatively safe lives too easily forget the frightening conditions experienced by many, many others, until we also are frightened.

And so it seems the time to bring forth "Everything About Today is Violet" by Bacopa 2019 contributor Ojo Taiye, from Nigeria.
Everything About Today is Violet
Ojo Taiye 
everyone i love is dead. & a field of charred bones flaking off the low Bogoro veldts is enough to say there is a giant girl in my belly craving salt-fish. i dial a number but cannot speak. today a boy curls a soft query over the lobes of my ears: do you write poems that speak to troubled teens? & i alphabetize my grief by country of origin, Borno comes first. yesterday is one place to bury two million undocumented displaced children & what you say after. i am the grand-daughter of a butcher: my mother comes from a long line of turban boys who sing jihad of evolution & teddy boys, a scar roves through my skin & the spark smells like a hemorrhage of bodies raised alongside us as nations. a pool of sorrows asking for exits: how we all want to rinse ourselves of last night's fire only to sink to the lower decks of summer's spare room of loneliness. my mouth is too dry to translate this search for words & words & words--a bowl of howls every time i cut garlic for happiness like a doorknob in a hallway that doesn't exist.
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Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian who uses poetry to hide his frustration with society. His poems and works have appeared in Rattle, Frontier Poetry, Palette, The Stinging Fly, Notre Dame Review, Vallum, Crannog, Argot, Brittle Paper, Glass Journal, Elsewhere, Eunoia Review, Lit Mag, Juke, Praxis Magazine, and elsewhere.

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