Ayokunle Falomo is Nigerian, American, and the author of African, American (New Delta Review, 2019) and two self-published collections. A recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and MacDowell, his work has been featured in/on Write About Now, The New York Times, Houston Public Media, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Texas Review, New England Review and elsewhere. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from University of Houston, a Specialist in School Psychology degree from Sam Houston State University and is currently an MFA (Poetry) student at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Photo by B.A. Moye.
WEAR A MASK BUT MAKE IT FASHION
This one, too, is for the dead, although
I don’t know what they want.
You are alive; I am. So what?
Can it not be, today, an act of resistance?
Frankly, concerning the humdrum of breath
Drawn in and out, I don’t get what
The hoopla’s all about. I’m grateful, yes,
But if it does, what does the wind
Resist? Already I miss everyone
I’ve never met, everyone I haven’t
Had the chance to meet. I miss the church
Of us, how congregate is now a foreign word,
If not forbidden. I miss the earnestness of
A ’scuse me as you, dear stranger, squeeze
Your body through the interstices between
Bodies pouring into a hallway. Three more days
And I’ll be gone. Imagine that. I’ll be
Back but still, I’ll miss this city and the people
In it. Already, I miss running into folks I know.
I miss hearing: Sorry I have to run. It’s nice
Seeing you though. I want to leave but don’t
Want to, you know? If only for
Your arm grazing mine unintentionally,
Dear stranger. I take it back,
When I said: Fuck elegy. Beauty exists,
As does the ache of loneliness. It’s all been said
But it’s so nice to say it again. So good
To see you. Good luck. It’s summer now
But does it mean snow ceases to exist?
Look: the bug circling this plastic cup,
The squirrel leaping to catch a bird,
Missing, and the bird chasing it in turn.
It’s all so magical. Strange, isn’t it?
The thought of snow in the summer.