The Girl Who Taught Me Love by Fadairo Tesleem

Photography by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa

she said:

“stand adjacent her window and sing 

her serenades – songs that pierce minds, 

arrest ears & imprison hearts – that’s another

way of loving a girl without saying it. 

kneel beneath her feet, behold her face 

& confess what shows over it – glitters –

tell her moon steals from her lightness. 

you still  shouldn’t mention it, yet. 

tell her to halt breathing, to feign death

& watch life choke out of you, that’s to 

say you breathe with her soul, tell her 

there’s a space, wide enough to harbor

you in her heart till forever. 

tell her an handicap isn’t a person without 

legs or hands, but a man whose heart

isn’t in his realm, but in the tender palms 

of his lover & you are one. these are other 

ways of loving a girl without literally saying it.”

Fadairo Tesleem is a young Nigerian poet that writes from Ilorin, Kwara state. He is a teacher, a poetry coach and a literary critic. Tesleem is a final year student of “Kamal school of Arabic & Islamic studies” Ilorin, Kwara state. He is a member of Hill-Tip creative art foundation, Kwara state branch, also a member of “Association Of Nigerian Authors” ANA, Osun state branch.

His poems are published or forthcoming in Fiery scribe review, Pangolin review, Queer Toronto literary magazine, Arts lounge, Best of Africa, Blue Minaret, Down in the dirt, Ninshãr arts, Blue pepper, Upwrite magazine, Inverse journal, Eremite poetry & a host of other publications. 

He tweets @Olakunle.

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