Photograph: detail of "baluster" by an unknown photographer. From the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The fire you wore is the color
of my eyes. I have mistook a quiet

room once for your laughter
and the curtains once for your hair.

My shadow: plural and your absence:
a chorus—a  fistful of light through

the crack—cobwebs as piano keys—
cupboards and drawers for keeping

memories—green blessings growing
in the sink—your shadow stepping

out of the wall. I am waiting for when
you will open the door. An empty

room is another word for music,
the song of the man, the woman,

the boy and the girl that slipped
out and left their shadows behind.

Your voice is my favorite album,
you left but your bones are still here.

Wale Owoade

Wale Owoade is the founder and managing editor of EXPOUND. ​His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in African American Review, Transition, The Brooklyn Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Pine Hills Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and several others. Some of his poems have been translated into Bengali, German, and Spanish.