I promised to give you the rainbow,
sorry, I forgot rainbow is the gathering
of colors in the sky: a dream. At the end
of this dream, grief wore a coat
over the rainbow & colors became
a black & white mask on my face.
Sometimes, I wear the face of my father
to hide the grains of grief planted beneath
the mask that reminds me of colors I couldn’t
give, colors I couldn’t share, colors I
couldn’t become. If the grains ever grow
thorns, my face will become a graveyard
for beauties that jump off the cliff without a voice
& the colors I couldn’t bring home will become
claws of grief carved beneath my masked face.
Ifeoluwa Ayandele was born in rural Ago Are, Nigeria, the son of a painter. His work is published in The McNeese Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Shift: A Journal of Literary Oddities, Cider Press Review, Rattle, Harbor Review, Tiny Spoon, Paper Dragon, Rigorous, Ghost City Review, The Ilanot Review, Pidgeonholes, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Verse Daily and elsewhere. He is nominated for the 2021 Best of the Net and tweets @IAyandele.