Lemons At 3am

Poetry is supposed to make you feel naked.

like that time you took your bra and underwear off for him


stop writing fluff Deborah

write about how he cheated on you.


It’s no good if you don’t feel like you’re standing in the middle of a crowd

wearing nothing but your skin


write about how he fucked you up.

how you felt like you weren’t enough for months


how you cried yourself to sleep night after night, you didn’t care

that your roommate had an 8am and stayed up with you till 3


Write about how you didn’t care that it wasn’t his first time

how he didn’t remember the date when you asked him.


He said that detail wasn’t important, that he remembered everything else

what you were wearing, what it felt like, what you said

but he couldn’t remember the date.


Write about how he treated you like shit but you thought you had to love him

because he was your first


you have to write about this Deborah

your eyes have become cracking levees weaken by the flood

and they are just so damn tired.


Poetry is supposed to make you feel better

naked, like your skin against his,


these are your memories Deborah, no matter how painful

you cant let him take that from you.


He told you that he wasn’t good enough for you

unworthy of your love, he put you on a pedestal and you sat there

willingly, only to see it crumble beneath you.


Write about how you welcomed him into your walls


into places that no one ever touched before

how you ignored the God inside you, pushed it aside,


so you didn’t feel like shit every time you had sex with him  


stop focusing on how bitter the lemons you have been handed are

and realize that you are capable of producing the honey


sweet enough to make this

lemonade tolerable.


I’ve been drowning myself in a bed of salty regret

but you were never a mistake


I chose your bed over mine at 3am.



Deborah Olaniyan