Literary Realism by Ayokunle Falomo

And then there was you who traded a kingdom he could
            not hold for a kingdom he could not hold. Inside

your left ventricle, a small village. Inside your right, a court.
            Inside the court, a court jester plays judge—his gavel

a turkey leg. Inside its marrow, a two-throated beast
            who’s made a castle for himself. Inside your hunger,
another hunger. Inside that, another. And so it goes.

            Inside the hole where your tongue once was, a cage.
            Inside the cage, a parrot that only knows to repeat
every word you’ve ever thought but never said. On the south

            side of your personal heaven, God sits on his card-
board throne & holds an avocado pit. As if it were the world.


Ayokunle Falomo is Nigerian, American, and the author of African, American (New Delta Review, 2019) and two self-published collections. A recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and MacDowell, his work has been anthologized and published in print and online, including Houston Public Media, The New York Times, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Texas Review, New England Review, Write About Now, among others. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from University of Houston, a Specialist in School Psychology degree from Sam Houston State University, and is currently a Zell Postgraduate Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where he obtained his MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry.

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