Three Poems by Omolabake Salako



How I broke myself into the shards of mother's plate (I)

You will find me curled up in the existences of others–

Mother/ father/ siblings/ friends/ strangers.

People keep their souls in narrow spaces between cupboards.

But, my soul is the infestation of termites– unguarded, soft with broken edges.

The wind flushes me & my insides are swollen with echoes.

I become heavy footsteps & my thighs carry bruises.

I sit on a white chair with no arms/ watching friends create memories/ with smiles inside their teeth.

I am a sinking darkness/ they cannot feel the pain behind my spine/ rottening roots that no longer hold/ for there is no happiness to be absorbed– I am fading.

I raise my head/ lips form a saggy smile/ all I reveal are the holes in my teeth.

Again/ I raise myself/ fondling my small arms around my chest/ to disappear from their aching laughter/ & to keep my pain from consuming their happiness.

I stand behind the room-door/ & for the last time/ inhale their sonorous sounds, but– I am not a resonance.




How I broke myself into the shards of mother's plate (II)

With empty limbs/ a blurry world/ I am choking/ there is neither a fire nor a smoke.

I kneel to pray on cold tiles/ the temple is my pain & despair.

I hit myself/ again/ desperately/ wishing/ the pain/ could/ take away/ my sadness.

But this has failed, even before I began.

I look to the blue basket housing mother's ceramic cups & plates.

I find myself wanting to break things, to the exact pieces I am broken inside.

I know breaking things would make me insane, but there is no sanity in this pain I feel.

I crawl on the ground/ reaching the basket of sins/ picking the most beautiful ceramic plate I see– for I was once beautiful before broken.

Scattering sounds penetrate my heart & a tune rises in the storm–

I feel more alive breaking things & myself.




I Tasted The Tears Of A Friend

When I tasted your tears,

Your fears cascaded down my tongue,

The sweetness/ bitterness/ sourness you've held still in your heart,

The fire in your belly that consumes you,

& the waters that endlessly divide your path.


When I swallowed your tears,

You churned into the softest weave of cotton,

Lining my hollow with a translucent satin,

& I gagged because I could not contain all of you,

All that was breaking/sinking/becoming.


When I consumed your tears,

Watching you wallow inside the mud of sadness,

Our eyes clashed & broke me second,

Because you were first broken without a shell,

& my hands were too burdened to hold you dear.





Omolabake Salako is a human first, writer and Nursing undergraduate. She's an old soul passionate about developing humanity– with a phobia for being photographed. She's a fusion of graphics, sounds and spectacles. Her works have featured in Afro Literary Magazine, Nnoko Stories and elsewhere. Connect with her on IG: @thecreativelung.






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