Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 1



Rahma O. Jimoh


This Is How to Live as a Black Man

you should wear your skin colour inside out
so you won't be tagged criminal
by the colour that chose to wear you
you should live in secluded places
for no sane place embraces a black-skinned man
you train your eyes to become a horoscope
so you can sight a cop from afar
because home or abroad
a black man remains a criminal
in the hands of those whose hands pistols live
& no don't run after finding your innocent self
in the web of pistols men or czars or harm(ies)
don't move too
just stand still and blankly
a blink of your eye might cost your life

you know being black is a crime
yet you still proudly wear your skin
can't you wash your blackness off away
so they can smile and treat you right




This Is How I Remember You, Grandma

i remember you                                       not as a withering one
                       but           as a fresh flower

and sometimes as water                        quenching the thirst
                                  of wayfarers

other times I smile from a                         dream where you
                                  walk around

dressed in golden regalia                      moonbeams on your white face
                                    & like seashells

you're at the edge of the sea                         i do not remember you as
                                   wrapped up

unflinching  numb like the ghost                          you later became

                instead

                  as a light kite drifting in silence
                  towards a garden beneath

   rivers flow.

i remember you like

a bouquet of stories
& a parcel of songs



Rahma O. Jimoh: “I am a writer and nature photog. I love to write on humanity, identity and politics. I’m a lover of nature, photography and tourism. I have been published or forthcoming in Feral, Versification, Serotonin, The Hellebore and other literary journals. I was a joint winner, PIN 10-day poetry challenge, 2019, Second runner up in the Poesy writers contest 2019 and recently shortlisted as top ten in the Hysteria Writing Contest, 2020. I am a 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee. I am the Poetry Editor for The Quills and a Contributor at Best Of Africa.”




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