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poetry column

With God

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By Salami Alimot Temitope

I sit on a stool in my room, beside the window, with the sun reflecting towards
me, disguised as optimism. I am thinking about the direction of my life.
Some day, obstinance steams my inside, making me fall into the frosty mouth
of my wrongs—in them I find no peace. I wish I could turn back the
clock, to say sorry for everything to whoever it affected.
Is there anyone without a goof? I seek the gentle
hands of God to touch my head and tell me he has forgiven me. Repining finds itself
a place in the murky garden of my mind. With God, I cascade
through the rocky face of my thoughts. His palm holding mine,
leading me to the door of His grace—a galaxy of miracles.
If no one would give a second chance, God would.

BIO:
Salami Alimot Temitope (she/her), NGP X, is an emerging Nigerian writer, photographer, digital artist, and essayist. She currently studies at Lagos State University, Nigeria. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Solarpunk Magazine, Full House Literary Magazine, LOLWE, Native Skin Magazine, Bluemarble Review, Typehouse Literary Magazine, CỌ́N-SCÌÒ MAGAZINE, IbadanArt, Olney Magazine, & elsewhere. She is on Instagram and Twitter: @iam_limalami

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poetry column

Lances at the hedges of light

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By Samuel A. Betiku

With Nigeria’s economy and poverty levels worsening, abductions have become an almost daily occurrence in recent years — Reuters

Until now, you savoured the world in packets of myth, moon-
lit frolic and a cot where the soft ripple of praise succeeds the rooster’s
call and the amber flush of afterglow. What did you know of a country
flailing outside the stained glasses of your eyes, eyes your mother looked into
to relearn the curves of a hymn: what did you know of being a prey
or of a complicit knot of trees and underbrush lining a dire trail,
blanketing the gleam of tomorrow. You watch your friends trudge on,
each laboured step a prayer no one dares to say out loud. When you open
your mouths, it is to let out a wisp of stifled cry, to risk the gruff nudge
of a gun. At the end of the road, your plundered selves waiting, inescapable.
What can you give to stay a haloed house? You look down at your feet
crusted with crimson and grit and imagine your mother sitting outside
the shed, the quiet sob of petition, the drooped heft of her brow, barely able
to stare at a sky spangled with lights closer to home than her daughter.

BIO:
Samuel A. Betiku is a Nigerian writer from the city of Ondo, South West Nigeria. His works have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Rattle, The Offing, Frontier poetry, The Temz Review, Trampset, The Christian Century, Strange Horizons, Agbowó, The Deadlands, and elsewhere.

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poetry column

The Knowledge

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By Kei Vough Korede

In a dream, two bars of soap
Were handed to me—
One containing melancholy.
The other, mirth.
A voice instructed me to give
The former to my father and keep
The latter for myself.
I broke each bar into half
And handed a half of each soap to my father:
His pain is my pain. My joy is his joy.

BIO:
Kei Vough Korede, he/they, poet, fashion and mustache enthusiast. He works on his manuscript Oral History. Flirt with him on Twitter @theDilatedSoul

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poetry column

I die like waves

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By Daniel Orisaeke

On the shoreline, I watch
the sun—a halved-cut lemon
dip into the sea,
language written
in the dance of waves
there is a pull and I succumb.
The man beside me murmurs a few words
about dying.
Iniquities,
like beads, jut out from my pores
before hands
drown me into a sea of lemonade.
I die like the waves.
A bitter-sweet enveloping—opaque & quiet
there is a pain before I see black.
I wonder if my tears segregate,
seeking absolution.
I resurrect a new creature—made whole
but the sourness lingers.

BIO:
Daniel Orisaeke (he/him) is a poet and a dental student in the University of Nigeria, Enugu. Twitter handle: @dannie_bry

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