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Lessons in Gravity: A Command from the Moon

By Mateenah Adeleke

We looked up

as we always did

planted roots at your feet

like we bow at the pulpit to God

like you are god.


Dancing in the shadow of the sun

I remained locked in your gaze

chained to memories of your reign

splintered thoughts impregnated with resentment 

a past due.


My loyalties persist with the night sky

could do without a moon -- now for the sun.



The man


There is a man on top

of my house. Each night

he calls me. I waited

for the birds to tear him

apart, for the sun to purge

him of life or the moon

to draw out his flesh I wanted 

it to feed me patiently I sat

on the steps of the future,

hungry as the sun for skin,


the moon failed to sing -- 

I waited, the old saying clung

to me like some truth, ghosts

never die or something

like that...The man on top

of the house never stopped

calling frozen in his own metal

there's a man on top of my house.


About Mateenah Adeleke

Mateenah Adeleke has been surrounded by literature all their life. Their dad is a poet and can recall many library trips and receiving books upon books as presents. They love reading and how artistic words on a page can be arranged.

Lessons in Gravity

Poems from Museum of the Home by The Young Poets Collective. Edited by Anthony Anaxagorou. Get a copy of the anthology from our shop


About the project

Lessons in Gravity is a collection of poems written by young people aged 15–24 exploring themes of power, identity and the legacy of colonialism at the Museum.