top of page

Vol. 2: 

On Identity

No I in We

poem by Olabisi Bello

Like a raging fire,
Solitude burns.
Smoldered by its heat, feathers of freedom
Become ashes that pour
Over the barren land of cartoons and teddy bears.
In the cover of night,
Solitude grips my hand
And I’m forced to listen to the rhythm of its crackling.
The suffocating smoke blinds my mirrors
And I forget how it feels to look into my own eyes.

-We know what’s best for you
-So that baby must not live
-We know what’s best for you
-And our image must not be tainted by your sin
-We know what’s best for you
-Because fifteen years ago,
-We gave birth to you.

The prison I call home unlocks
With a decision that forces bile to my throat.
In the folds of my father’s arms,
Solitude has no space to breathe
So it morphs into the image of society.
The mouth of my mother splits into a smile,
Her teeth bared at the cowardice of my spirit.
Then it grows into a vacuum,
Bloody like the blue sheet draped on the surgical table,
And engulfs me and my baby in one fell swoop.
Now I rest in the blanket of her womb,
Waiting for my father to devour the three of us.

Anchor 1

Olabisi Bello is a female Nigerian who aspires to be a biomedical engineer. She loves the fluidity and joy writing has granted her, and she hopes to make an impact in society with this gift and her overall devotion to making the world a better place.

bottom of page