I’m exiting this             place

the wound at the back of my   throat means tomorrow

a little more incense     needs to be put on my name

all my indentations                   lack attitude in the mouth of the law

someone needs to hold me      & find a country

I don’t trust my hands              to do me justice

but don’t blame me      for keeping them

they don’t know hope

to them            hope   hope means a death I probably deserved

faith has buried too much of the world’s betrayal in    one body

& I have kept it as a laurel

but when I begin to leave         & not live through it

don’t tell me I won’t become                attainable





This poem is the third of four in our Voices for Change in Nigeria limited series, in response to the #EndSARS protest movement. Two more Nigerian authors will publish their poems with us this week—stay tuned!

Olúwádáre Pópóọla