some mornings you wake to a stamp of silence
in the air, swaying in tune with your heartbeat.
you are paralyzed in your dreams
& you are a breathless wanderer, in reality,
trying to convince yourself that you’re not just
occupying space in the world.
you stare into the mirror in your room
& your reflection tells you that you have a condition—
that you suffer from the invisible illness.
maybe that’s why your feet leave no prints
or maybe the wind erases them as you go.
you compose an affirmation for yourself
or maybe it’s a mantra, you do not know.
it goes: i am alive! i am not dead! see me, world!
you say the words over and over again
till your mouth registers the verses.
yet you feel like a ghost hung up in cobwebs
in a room full of shadows.
Praise Osawaru is a Nigerian writer, (performance) poet, & wannabe entrepreneur studying at the University of Benin, Nigeria. His works have appeared/forthcoming in African Writer, Kreative Diadem, Ibua Journal, Ngiga Review, Perhappened Magazine, Praxis Magazine & elsewhere. He was longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 and shortlisted in the 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest. He’s openly a film fanatic & overall art enthusiast/lover. Say hello on Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise