Surveillance Camera

the doctor says my mother is suffering from retrograde amnesia & it will take long if not eight years or more for her to kiss the nape of any hunger. i press my hands against her body & listen to the war on television. a child’s love is butter & milk, two thirds worry & two thirds grief. i want to believe in rebirth that what comes from loss is a form of fibrous light partitioned into many rays. my mother is a poem liable to come apart if touched without a heart. can i give her today since she has lost hold of yesterday? what is memory if not the proper noun for a woman caught stealing into her own body. i give my mother a new day & a spark, tell her to sift through boxes of photos & old videos & be ready to weave the welkin sphere of a body still empty with another inside. it’s uncanny how much she no longer cares about her fish flick pond. she talks to herself like a witness—the stillness of moths on a vase of tulips—the shame of birds without seed. a book lies nearby in a room filled with dust that light brings. picture this: think of a keyboard in a forgotten earth in August where someone presses the delete button. & when i thought about the petals of a dead magnolia blossom. i knew I wanted them to mean nothing & suggest everything— that we must make meaning to survive. how it feels to stand outside a house falling off this umber world. i look at my mother & see a door— where things go to lose their names. either way history does not end in borders. & i understand when people say you don’t miss what you don’t know, they mean there is no environmentally safe way to remember.


Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with the society. His poems and works have appeared in journals like Rattle, Frontier Poetry, Palette, Stinging fly, Notre Dame Review, Vallum, Crannog, Argot, Brittle Paper, Glass Journal, Elsewhere, Eunoia Review, Lit Mag, Juke, Praxis Magazine and elsewhere.