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THERE’S A GHOST IN THE MIRROR | a poem by Olafisoye-Oragbade Oluwatosin David

Read Time:2 Minute, 6 Second
i. 
they said i'd learn who i am,
learn the secrets heaven hid in me,
if my body is a poem from God, 
maybe I can read the lyrics when I see my reflection.

ii.
the stories i see scare me.
a ghost in the mirror -
he wears my face,
but paints an image of broken bodies buried.

iii.
i am what i see,
or, i have become what i saw,
a plaque for many fallen to fear,
my insecurities leaving there and renting a house in my flesh.

iv.
a roaring sea, 
a deafening earthquake,
a still small voice,
i am Elijah again, without the meal from the gods.

v.
a hashtag here,
a “woke” comment there,
i like, i stan, i share,
i’m lost in the talk, i’m nowhere.

vi.
i carry a face of different colours,
like a rainbow did my makeup,
or a mirage,
cause i disappear when asked,
"who are you?"

vii.
i can't sound an answer to "what's your name?"
cause how do i choose one and leave the other,
like, "I'm a feminist with a touch of masculinism" 
like when a Priest plays devil to a young lad.


viii.
maybe, i echo the loudest voice,
or i happen in time, 
the sound of now,
the sound of today.

ix.
i would learn,
a book of me knows me better,
when i become today's yesterday,
a story to be read,
a life already lived, when i come to the end,
to know who I am.

x.
the epilogue.
there's a ghost in the mirror,
who today is,
and tomorrow is gone,
who would only live preserved in tongues too restless to sleep,
or a book,
or a wall,
if he lives well enough.
But who he really is,
only time can say for sure.


Olafisoye-Oragbade Oluwatosin David is a 4th-year medical student at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara. Known by the pseudonym “King Davey”, he is a poet and spoken words artist who enjoys playing with words. David won the ILUMSA Malaria Day Poetry Contest in 2021 and was on the top 20 longlist of the 2021 Nigeria Students’ Poetry Prize (NSPP). He was also awarded the Best Poetry Content at Poethon Season 4 and ranked 3rd at YWCA’s Spoken Words Artist of the Year 2021. His works are published/forthcoming on African Writer, Arts Lounge NYC, Shuzia, SprinNG, BPPC Anthology and elsewhere. David is @thekingdavey on Instagram and @TosinOlafisoye on Twitter.