Volume Four, Issue 3

Picking War’s History from the Scream of Its Ghost

Ifeoluwa Ayandele

At times, I remember the war was in my wardrobe
& I folded my anger into every shirt & trouser there
as a specimen to mark the making of the war. I undressed

the war inside my wardrobe & the ghosts of every war
unfurled into my dreams. My dreams were a moonless night
in a city of ghosts. & I saw the ancestry of wrecked apparitions,

trying to scream out how war took them by their collars
& showed them the netherworld of the rivers. I stood
before a river & folded the fog of what remains of the ghosts

of the war into waters. I wrote their names on the waters
but waters are forgetful being, forgetting names, forgetting
the anger flowing through the blood of bodies washed down

its roots. At times, I forget to wear the trinket of my grandpa
that carried his longings after the war. My grandpa brought
me through the waters of loss & told me the legacy of bodies

buried beneath rivers. He taught me how to fight my own war,
for wars are always at the riverside & I have to walk into its future
& pick its fishes & pick its history from the scream of its ghost.

Ifeoluwa Ayandele: "I am a Nigerian poet. My poetry has featured or is forthcoming at Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, RATTLE, Harbor Review, The Ilanot Review, Ghost City Review, Pidgeonholes, Tint Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Thimblelitmag, MockingHeart Review, Rhythm and Bones, Little Stone Journal, Verse Daily and elsewhere. I live in a room whose window faces a fence and I tweet @IAyandele."

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