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a letter i wrote to you [me] | Temidayo Okun | Poetry

i was beside you when your heart broke— & caused you to change into a boi / i watched you. boi / i watched you develop all the sharp edges.

A boy and girl holding hands

a letter i wrote to you [me]

dear you [ me ] — 
                                        this letter starts with a story. 

to bury a body you love— is to utter a confession that burns through you— leaving grief behind. 

i was beside you when your heart broke— & caused you to change into a boi / i watched you. boi / i watched you develop all the sharp edges that now surround all of your tenderness / the same 

tenderness that i couldn't protect / i was supposed to protect you / i was supposed to steer you clear of all the mental rògbòdìyàn [ troubles ] — that changed you into this ọlọtẹ [ rebel ] / i use

the yoruba language because we were born here. you & i / we do not recognize the sounds we try to pronounce— but the words carry the weight of a thousand untold stories— when i try to 

communicate in the tongue of my motherland / language is another trouble. boi / ¿how do i tell you i cried with you / how do I communicate a kind of grief that exists in spite of you? /  grief— 

born of a need / grief — / grief — / i don't know how to tell you. boi — so i'll love you. instead. 

                i can hear the sound of rain through the open window & ceramic-tiled ceiling. 
                           & yet— i swear the pitter-patter comes from within us— resonating   
                                       through our body with enough calm to support our grief. 

i remember when you were nothing more than a lonely road. boi / i remember how you projected nothing but darkness / you still do— but it is fine now / or at least — you can only hope you are fine now / you have to be / you have to be fine / you have to be. boi / we have to be fine. 

song playing in background : stupid deep — jon bellion
i don't want you to fall back into that darkness. boi / & how i wish the darkness was just an absence of light / but this darkness is the kind that causes you to wake up — grasping for 

bodies that never seem to hold form— long enough for your fingers to find in them— an oasis / you know i was there— broken too & screaming myself into speechlessness — as i tried to wipe 

the tears & sweat that mixed themselves well enough to remind me that it is constantly all my fault / i should have stopped our mother the first time she called you a bastard / i should have 

whisked you away— the moment our father called your existence— pointless / i didn't— & i am sorry. boi / i'm sorry you have to go through all of these / i'm sorry. i'm sorry. i'm sorry. i'm sorry/ 

i'm sorry you have to gather the many shards of our broken selves / i'm sorry people think you just don't want to speak— when in fact — your voice has found refuge in your throat — as a lump 

that can never be felt by hand / rather — it is one that grows till you feel it in the pit of your stomach — spreading like an epidemic to your limbs — until you cannot take it anymore & 

your body loses all purpose but containing your loss / — know i am beside you. in the darkness. 

now— we catch snowflakes that always melt long before forever finds us. boi. 

it's okay to cry when it hurts / i'm sorry. boi  / & yes— this poem ends with an apology. 


Temidayo Okun is a Nigerian poet that prefers to be referred to as 19. He likes catching snowflakes & writing flowerbombs. His works have been published or forthcoming in literary blogs & magazines. He has also been shortlisted for prizes. 

You can reach out to him on Instagram:@mr_number_19



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Pawners Paper: a letter i wrote to you [me] | Temidayo Okun | Poetry
a letter i wrote to you [me] | Temidayo Okun | Poetry
i was beside you when your heart broke— & caused you to change into a boi / i watched you. boi / i watched you develop all the sharp edges.
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