burnt offering

i deck the neck of my pain
with pearls. remember, beauty can ensue
from shattered chinas. some days, i offer my pain
to the gods as a burnt offering. if they rain joy,
i store it in the jug of memories. a reminder
that happiness once came in torrents. i have tugged
at life’s mayhem, got a scale to weigh its
uncertainties — now, i am the man slurping
whatever life bestows. blessings. anxieties. a gold-
smith assembling tools with scraps life tossed
my door. when i begin to chase shadows. when i ask
why life failed to give answers to my questions,
remind me, life is not my debtor. i have chosen
to be a man who clings to the thumb of grace,
who sings a ballad for his demons.

Damilola Omotoyinbo

Damilola Omotoyinbo, Frontier XIX, is a Nigerian Creative Writer. A Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers' Residency. An Alumna of YALI and the SprinNG Writing Fellowship. She has work published or forthcoming on Brittle paper, Agbowó, Pepper Coast Lit, Afritondo, Better Than Starbucks and elsewhere. Damilola studied Biochemistry, you can say hi to her on IG @ damilola_omotoyinbo or Twitter @creative_riter.