You Still Accompany Me, After You Vanish

Dolapo Demuren

Someday my mother’s mouth
will have to be as brave as an hour,
closing on itself, leaving her voice
to haunt each passage clear

like the parents of butterflies
careful among what they’ve left
behind: the migrating kingdom,
trees of rest, the hips

of mountainsides— keep this 
they say to the young,
between your shoulders,
where nothing sleeps