Grief

I am not your mother, oh country

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but I’ll wash you clean. Bring me the bath water and soap, I’ll have to wash you off my skin          off my tongue                  off my marrows, till you transform into a scum-flow I’ll trap in a bath bowl, un-forgetting to spill the water and the baby into a memory […]

Lazarus

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you have cheated death so much the first time, you weren’t even alive. the angels are less fortunate than you are sometimes, i wonder how that makes them feel but you can’t tell someone how to deal with their misfortune you took too long to form that is what happens when God calls you Lazarus […]

Everyone Has Something To Say

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for H & to H.   death seethed into a home & did not pass through the door nor the window; did not knock, greet or smile no one knew how it got in, but when it left you went missing. mother tried to remember a passage through in your sickness or a path in […]

Epiphany of Trauma in Rasaq Malik Gbolahan’s ‘The Other Names of Grief’

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The tragic exploits of killer-herders in Zamfara and Igangan, Edo and Ondo; a breadwinner razed in fire for the twin crimes of blasphemy and heresy by self-appointed custodians of faith and morals; orphans dying of the throes of hunger; a woman beaten to death for the womanly crime of being a wife and mother, the […]

What Exactly Do You Want to Know in Tolu Agbelusi’s ‘Locating Strongwoman’

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In Tolu Agbelusi’s first poetry collection, Locating Strongwoman, there’s a poem titled “Museum of Women,” that acknowledges and celebrates the various ways women have affected the growth of the speaker and her ongoing construction of womanhood and selfhood. The poem uses the museum as an austere aide-mémoire of women’s lived experiences, the shifting between dispossession, […]

A Great Mourning

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A Great Mourning I am learning to mourn All the parts that lay hidden In the whirlwind of my heart, Parts that were  Too sharp to leave Too alive for a dead world. I am leaving these parts  By the shores of seas And lands that remember my scent, I’m stretching until it feels  Like […]

Echo

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What comes to mind when you talk of echo:   Are the abandoned buildings emptied by the noise of wars; Lofty buildings for the tourists and their guides in years to come.   Are boys searching for the voices of their missing parents, Under the heaps of dead bodies, hungry heads.   Are the girls […]