When You Speak

Adeleke Deborah

and when you speak to the woman
who weaved a basket of history
with the strands of her ancestor’s hair,
she will tell you about the masquerades
with bleeding gums who found science
in their ritual of burning flesh
with woods thralled by strange fires
she will tell you about the virulent gods
who spoke and made gestures with magma,
ashes, chaos, yoked in the sprout of winds.

Adeleke Deborah is a Nigerian writer and teacher. She is passionate about using her artistic skill as a tool for change and impact. Her work has appeared in Okada books. Find her on Instagram (@debbyhife).