I want to write about grief
I want to write about grief,
about my mother who whittles her bones
into crackers to feed us on hungry nights,
about my father who turned
into a wind in Sahara
through the fangs of death,
about my grandmother,
whose soul infused with the
photographs beatifying our living room.
Grief crushes the lightness of a body
with a trample on its twigs
like a giant in the woods.
It slithers the throat of boon bound
to the body.
It smashes the body like an hazelnut
crushed with a club, &
it makes frail the durable bones of the body.
A man who lives behind my room offers his
existence to the brim of a bottle each night
to win his grief in a bout.
The earth throws out its burden,
splits itself into two, & enrage its grief & anger
on helpless bodies.
A beautiful land is renamed
with a quake,
a scar on the stomach of earth—
why should the grief of earth
remove bones out of their flesh?
I walk into a chapel with blood
dripping from my hands,
questioning eyes peered into my skin,
& Into my soul.
But one thing I know is— I’m here
for salvation, & another thing I know is; I’m back
from a dream where I killed my grief with an axe.
Everything looks like a possible war
(for the displaced people of the Israeli-Palestinian war)
After Warsan Shire
Even the snap of a finger
can be an ignition for war.
You know how it begins
from a laughter
into loss/ into a dirge / to mourning /
to burying your loved ones.
War is the stained singlet
beneath your dirty kaftan,
It is the burnt pashmina tied to your head,
& the underpant worn over your manliness.
It is the taffeta dress
covering your wife’s burnt thigh.
You heard something crack— cracking
outside your door, you almost jumped
into the wall when you peeped,
when a tiny rat scurried past your legs.
You’ve mourned so much, & you are still mourning,
even scraping a foot across the ground
could also be an ignition for war.
The scent of explosion is
a cologne to your nostrils, &
even war has known
peace through your bones.
After your grandmother,
the last thing you mourned was the
sleeve of your shirt—
the one that saved you from falling
down the crumpling building as a debris.
If not, the TV would have wear your name
as one of the twenty dead, forty injured.
About the author:
Abdulkareem Abdulkareem is a Nigerian writer who wants his voice to go beyond the thatched roof of his mother’s house. He studies Linguistics and Nigerian Languages at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. Besides writing poetry, he cherishes the historical fiction and crime fiction genres. His friends calls him Pānini. He writes from the ancient city of Ilorin. When he isn’t writing, he’s either listening to JuiceWRLD or Drake. His works have appeared or are forthcoming on Poetrykit online anthology, ARTmosterrific, Naija Buffett Readers, The Kalahari Review, and The Shallow Tales Review.
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