Muhammed Olowonjoyin

By Muhammed Olowonjoyin

in the end, we’re all constructs of things that couldn’t kill
us. and what we are left with when their knives fail are

fears to pillage our chests on days when we watch
the disasters our dreams and longings are tiptoeing into.

everything a man tries to save cannot be saved for long,
including himself. maybe that’s why we’re all on these tracks.

there’s always a tornado we’re running from, call it
fire, call it armageddon, call it death, sometimes.

& there’s always a cyclone we’re racing towards, say
matchsticks’ heads crashing against phosphorus to bloom.

perhaps, that’s also a definition of pain: burning to see.
say light is light even if it’s short-lived,

because what are the odds of finding it in this wilderness
we call home?

we’ve been stepping out afraid, &
sometimes, unafraid

hoping to survive these disheveled places and our disheveled
bodies. Say we’re all versifications of memories & pain & loss.

here, there’s always a hand stretching towards another
hand or another place in vain.

but in the end, we still tincture our memories and
launder the aches with poems & spite & prayers, perhaps—

to punctuate us with dreams without ululations,
to await the deluge of light that enters the marrows & stays.

Muhammed Olowonjoyin [TPC III] is a member of The Poetic Collective and a student of Biochemistry at the University of Ilorin. He was third runner-up in the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (2022) and was named Honorable Mention in the Kreative Diadem Poetry Contest (2022). His poems have been published or forthcoming in Stanchion, Brittle Paper, Quarter After Eight, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Aôthen Magazine, TSTR, Acropolis Journal, The Decadent Review, and elsewhere. He tweets @APerSe_.