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‘Wounded’ by Benjamin Solomon

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Wounded was inspired by domestic violence. It is one of the social issues that is truly not talked about as much. Most women shy away from talking about it because of fear, or some sort of dependent love, which, in itself, is unhealthy. But, unlike other artistic expressions of domestic violence, I chose to portray it in the way that it really is – in most cases of domestic assault, as in Wounded, the women hardly break away from that unhealthy bond, which is where help needs to be provided.

The pestle is a very common African kitchen tool, and women in the rural areas who are unable to use it are usually castigated. The pestle symbolises strength, and proves to me that even the strongest women may still fall victim to a violent partner, without being able to rise again.

I drew much of my inspiration from the traditional African setting where a man is seen to have ultimate power over the ‘much inferior’ woman, so that violence within the home becomes his right. Hence, I chose to go traditional when taking the pictures. Her dressing symbolises innocence, but we still end up seeing that she’s happy nonetheless, which to me, is sort of a superpower that women possess; they’re able to smile through their pain, through their problems, something that I personally appreciate about the women around me.

– Benjamin Solomon

 

Midnight,

At midnight she awakens,

Her heart still sore from the thought of his words,

That punched holes in her core,

Like a fist through drywall.

Layer by layer,

Her self-worth eroded,

By the lash of his whip,

Her body greeting the cold marble.

 

Her bones are icy,

Her back tattooed with welts,

A love tainted by flays

of words and of belts.

She can only hope to Heaven,

Not that her wounds are cured,

Rather, that his sins are forgiven.

 

And is that what love really is?

Noon strikes, so does his hand,

Carving lesions into her back,

Her form laced with blood.

And in that moment,

She swallows a sword,

Fine china shattered across the floor,

Gore mixed with sweat.

Constantly shuffling between life and death.

But maybe she’s already dead,

Drowned in a pool of melancholy,

Not revived, not revivable.

 

 

For she is an amazon,

Bamboo to his storm,

Proving too tough to break.

A luminous beauty,

Battered with scars.

She wears her sorrow like a velvet scarf,

And his hands around her neck like crystal pearls.

Her pestle is her strength,

In her breasts she cradles life,

Life too pure to see.

 

 

Might she rise again,

Is her question to ask,

Her choice to make.

Still broken, she attempts to salvage

A romance once real,

Now chocked out by vehemence.

Piece by piece,

She picks her bruises off the ground,

And onto her shadow.

Still, he re-bruises her bruises,

And stirs up her anguish.

 

 

Her tears couldn’t heal

The burn she felt on her skin,

The throbbing in her head,

Nor the ache in her soul.

For she was no longer sad,

She was numb,

And in that state she knew,

She had crossed ruin beyond repair.

 

 

 

She must rise above the darkness,

For she knows for sure,

That she cannot fix anyone,

not until she fixes herself.

Yet here she is,

Trapped in a box,

Far from utopia, yet far from him,

Fighting to swallow all of her chances,

Before he rouses at dawn

Where his palm once again,

Meets her face.

 

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‘1004 spoilt me’ by Afolabi Aiyela

LL Post 5

1004 spoilt me
From the highest thrones
To the silly games we princes and princesses seldom owned.
On lawn tennis lawns was birth the first imagination
With no retaliation
The first kiss,
the first fight and stupidly bruised wrists
I remember the 6th floor balcony,
a world so far away from the earth stringed with big boy realities
The wind kissing my skin,
forget that ridiculous AC thing
There were no mosquito bites that high up
All I beheld was the perfect sky drop
The Stars were so close to reach,
they would visit me every night and preach
Of only opulence and glamour
These I latched on to as a shield and amour
1004 gave the first best friend,
the first carpoolkareoke trend,
the first birthday party butterfly dance step,
the first make believe Captain Hook on a bonk bed/ pirate ship.
Why didn’t you prepare me for nasty slums,
bad roads and eventually a world run by a Donald trump?
Why didn’t you say “folabi, don’t get used to me.
The government is gonna take back your keys,
I’ll become even posher and fully serviced,
and you will eventually be worse off for it”
Instead you gave me music and you gave joy.
You gave me household Christian fellowships and friends with cool toys.
Now we see each other only once in a while
when my island voyages bring me past u to the lekki isle.
I won’t even front, I miss you.
You majestic mystery, you.
Thank you for spoiling me good
and for affording me the best childhood.

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