His limbs forget how to connect
With the language of his spine,
So they crawl as he feeds the road
With the taste of his sweat, &
Blood and flesh. This is where you
Flee from purple evenings that pour
Bodies into the mouth of bullets
Before receiving them back as ash.
Here, your protests [against death]
Mean you, too, will be unpaired from your dreams.
I try to find metaphors to scrub my tongue
Clean of threnodies & found nothing. Perhaps,
To forget is to unearth sadism from the
Terror of bullets.
Because what is chaos without ululations?
& what is a bullet hole without pain?
Today, I pilgrimage a tollgate in search
Of a brother’s spirit. To tell him that his blood
Still haunts a country more than light haunts a moth. &
In the end, a teargas asphyxiates me.
You’ll never know when a bullet will outpace you,
Or where the ground will let you ensanguine it.
But one thing is certain: there’s always an ambush
To claw your tongue. Which means, you have to die,
But silently. Notice how the bloodstains on the flag
Mean this place is restless & receding into gracelessness
The way blood turns the lungs graceless after gunshots.
Notice how every running thing here has a country
Running after it.
Muhammed Sanni Olowonjoyin,
TPC III, studies Biochemistry at the University of Ilorin. His poems have been published or forthcoming in Brittle Paper, Aôthen Magazine, Lunaris Review, The Kalahari Review, The Shallow Tales Review, Acropolis Journal, Salamander Ink Magazine, African Writer Magazine, Words And Whispers Journal, Kreative Diadem, The Origami Review, The Paper Crow and elsewhere. He’s a diehard fan of Martins Deep, who authored A Sheaf of Whispering Leaves. He reads poetry for The Dodge Magazine. When he’s not tracing biochemical pathways, reading, or writing, he’s searching for peace. He tweets @APerSe_