By Abdulkareem Abdulkareem
My bliss is a gun empty of bullets, teach me
how to mould a body that won’t know the way
to the middle of a river, how to sing a song that
won’t pull my throat towards an ache, a ballad that
strides towards a hiatus. My body, a choir echoing itself
towards the night sky. This poem will grow me wings
like Icarus & I’ll try to escape the ligature of grief.
I’ll try to make paper boats to sail out of my grief as a
sailor, I’ll try to be a dry tree morphing back to greenness.
I have wanted my grief to smolder like a coal into ashes, but
It keeps infusing its vowels in me like a cluster of consonants
broken with vowels in the Yorùbá language to suite its rhythm.
who wouldn’t want his grief to shred into brittles,
like a wood splintered through the mouth of a knife?
Here, brokenness stares into my eyes like
halogen lights, & like adrenaline it rushes through
my body — stiffening my muscles like a wet bamboo.
There is a thing that grips the inside of my body, how
it forces to emit itself like a yawn from the mouth
of a drunkard, that revival lies in the mouth of a river,
that my body is beginning to carry the weight of a wrecked
papyrus boat on the face of an ocean. Tomorrow,
this poem, I hope, won’t trudge towards a body of water.
Abdulkareem Abdulkareem (Panini) (he/him) is a Nigerian writer, he studies Linguistics at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. His works appeared/forthcoming on ARTmosterrific, Shallow Tales Review, Brittle Paper, Ice Floe, Rigorous, Second Chance lit, Olney, WFW Review, Sledgehammer lit, Salamander ink, Afro literary magazine, Lunaris, Kissing Dynamite & elsewhere.
He tweets @panini500bc