Ayoola Olubukola Ogunyimika

Issue One, Student

Dear Body,

Dear Body,

I have never seen strength as unwavering as you

But I must ask, when have you not been in constant pain

Yes, you are a strong vessel that never ceases to amaze me, but your resilience is overshadowed

by your dying cells

Don’t get me wrong, I love you, I really do

But how must I continue to love a dying thing that is alive or are you a living thing that refuses to


You are strength magnified, but you did not tell me that I would be left an empty shell of my

former self

Destitute, begging for help

Pain, you have become the best friend I never needed

The only constant consistency I can depend on

You see, I was born into the body of an aching soul

My fate sealed with a knife and my bones found the pleasure of hurt in every blade

You see, my cells are shaped like the tears of my forgotten ancestors

Wretched in the blood my brother purged on the side of the hospital room

Crushed under the weight of the IV the nurse forced into my innocent veins

And I

And I

I seemed to remain whole

Dear Body,

If you were a poem, I would read you forever

Because your lines would be filled with the untold stories of beauty magnified

The stories of warriors that survived tragic battles

The wails of mothers that lost their babies too soon

You would be inked in tears, signed in blood

Sealed by the ghost of my former self remembering days I wasn’t so numb

Dear Body,

I should have loved you more

But you were a bird

You were a bird flying through the cold night sky letting the moon pluck every one of your

beautiful feathers leaving me vulnerable amongst the stars

You were a flame

You were a flame dimming my ever glowing light until I didn’t know how to shine anymore

You urged my bones to cry for warmth and comfort as I screamed out for peace and mercy

Dear Body,

I am afraid

I am afraid you will disappoint me

Just like everyone else in my life has when they reassured me

You see, you did not know me, you never knew me

You did not know that

I found love in my scars, hope in my tears, and solace in my hurt

But my skin refused to love me, my bones refused to hug me tight when the doctor told my

mother “she has to stay another night”

Dear Body,

I did not love you, or to say the least let you live

But I want you to know that you are amazing in all of your crippling pain and agony

Your reflection as beautiful as the moon in a summer’s pound

As beautiful as my mother’s smile holding back tears over my hurting body

As beautiful as the narcotic filled syringe the nurse slowly walks over with

Or as beautiful as it looks being filled into your crippled veins

Dear Body,

This thing

This body

This body called you

This thing that is my body

Sickle Cell

You were not supposed to be here

And here you are

Leaving me here to pick up the shattered pieces I call myself

Dear Body,

Growing is painful

But baby, there is beauty in your pain

About Ayoola Olubukola Ogunyimika
Self titled artist, poet, writer, and overall creative, Ayoola loves using her artistic abilities to express herself. Ayoola chose “Her Silence” as her poet’s name because she speaks from a place of solitude. Her Silence is a poet born from the trauma of complacency. Her Silence no longer allows the wavering doubt that has filled her head to stop her from speaking words of love, demise, acceptance, and control through poetic catharsis. The poem “Dear Body” was made from her experience with Sickle Cell Anemia and has allowed Ayoola to see her body in a vast way in retrospect to her pain.