Volume Five, Issue 3

Abdulkareem Abdulkareem

My grief as an Oshibana

After Shane Schick Oshibana

I stuff my hands in the middle of a book,
you— pressed as flowers in-between them,
your petals now smashed, few flattened like
a gum smashed with a foot. I wanted to reduce
you off. But the strangest. The letters in this
book acted as a sun for you, passing their
Photosynthesis, enigmatic. And you sprouted
from every part of this book. I wanted you
to stay pressed between my hands till I crush
you off, but this body, your body wields a
resistance, resisting my usage of you as an
Oshibana. I think I know why you conquer
me so much, grief.

Into the Mediterranean Sea

I stretch a hand beyond this window
that holds my face while I watch the
sun sink into the water of the sky,

my hand wouldn't stretch far, not even
beyond this fly flying round a clump of
dried sugar on my window,

I want to stretch beyond this imagination
beyond the Sphinx-like-statue outside
the doors of my thought,

into the Mediterranean sea, where you stand
raising its water with each of your foot,
swaying your silk-like fingers like a mermaid.


The void inside my thoughts
begins to breed my body
sinking my thoughts
                                     into its abyss
my head rings—
                           setting a tune for
my body to burst into       my body
Is a talking drum beaten by the
drumsticks of chaos           & my language
emits [a mystery]         a tangled acoustic
like the threads of a silk
the chaos on me   like a prickly heat on the flesh
            I want to unlade
                               the chaos on
my nerves         & plunge the sun into
the chasm of my belly
                  to dissolve my body off this chaos
I want to exit     this pit       as a caterpillar
& reappear as a butterfly       or a moth
& fly away up up & away.

Abdulkareem Abdulkareem: “I am a Nigerian writer, linguist, who wants my voice to go beyond the thatched roof of my mother’s house. I study Linguistics and Nigerian Languages at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. Besides writing poetry, I cherish the historical fiction and crime fiction genres. My friends call me Pānini. I write from the ancient city of Ilorin. When I’m not writing, I’m either listening to JuiceWRLD or Drake. My works have appeared on Poetrykit online anthology, ARTmosterrific, Naija Buffett Readers, The Kalahari Review, The Shallow Tales Review, Nnoko stories, Nanty greens, and forthcoming on Arts Lounge. I tweet @panini500bc.”

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