October 14, 2023
Four Original Poems - Vagabond, Transformation, Overhaul, and Lemongrass
By Abdulrazaq Salihu
My home is not a place to breathe
It’s this contrived murder against the purple bandoliers of men
And the places they have known.
The wilderness in the eyes of the roads,
As in between your thigh Us trespassing on the water’s face
Wired in one—a connection of mutual understanding of grief.
Daring to drown by the sands, we know many ways to burn a home,
Us ourselves, our prayers and love. Us, kicking back the broken days
With these people, these scattered people
That are my family. On wishing our home is a place we did not
Abandon in the middle of the blooming of a wild flower because
We knew nothing of carrying a home in the chest, We were carrying
Our bodies to everyplace to breathe, as the president would.
A home is the headquarters of a school of fish curling the waters.
In Sarkin Pawa, crows are most times mistaken for gunshots
And its passionate ability to wipe out a home.
But we all go round We break the tunes of the silent night and nothing is holy
Passing the stumps of our grief to the broken war-men
Because where there’s people The plural form of survivors; victors
Fully aware; the only thing they won, is surviving the last attack.
Roads and insecurity have many things in common: the way they
Bend the heels of people searching for places to call home.
Man is the piece of light that survived the downpour of bullets
Man is the petal of holy, slowly loosing their mind
Homes and bullets have many things in common,
If it’s the color of Vagabond-gene in me,
Then praises to all the lost breath Glory be to harbor in roads.
A lot of times my body transforms before god and
A two floor dormitory has swallowed 18 young girls with fire.
What I carry in my mouth, like roses barricading the city of smoke
Ignites and a mirror is my father,going through a phase
Today I take God’s name down my throat and sag my body
For coloured boys defying gravity and falling back to their roots
And wanting, wanting to fold their paper lips into kisses
And carry wilderness In their blue Scottish eyes
Because water stands a chance to heal faster than blood—
My uncle breaks his family and everyone began to count
Their descendants by the number of scars on children’s chin—
My father waters his boat and sails us across the seventh tale of
Self discovery evaluating transformation in machines and species.
He predicts the fall with his fingers aligned with the sun and swears
The apocalypse is only a mile away,I carry all the wounds in my
chest and rest them in my sister’s bulleted forehead
Because a scar is best remembered on the face of the things we love,
Because I command her to heal with the energy of a grief stricken poem
I command her to rise and erase the wound and recite the mantras
Of winter nights and Summer flakes transforming into dust.
I remind my sick father his brother’s name is Abdulsalam
And he slowly twisted the tip of his tongue twice in saying peace is salam—
Because this is the reality of a new revolution
And in capturing cladded dusty shoes and naming the rainbow a collection
Of the amount of pressure a boy has to carry from age zero to nine
He’s made to believe a word is heavier than a bullet,
Fantasy is poured into his throat and he is left to measure the sanity
And stress involved in correctly pronouncing faith and fate.
A boy my age told me of the freedom in the letter B for bullet
Traversing all the little cities with peace in my chest
And the letter W for all the words I have used to start the war.
Everyday, a scarlet falls into the colour of blood and my 4 year old
Brother is saying Baba and it sounds like the shattering of glass
By a UFO the size Of my home on the day the transformation began.
Groping before the sands for the carcasses, I fear death. We do,
Just deeper than the way you would see. I came here
To carry the body but missed a heartbeat. Is there
A better way to grief the dead that you couldn’t save.
The mind is able to hold a broken snapshot over here,
Unless your carry the night in fire.This is how it works:
The mirror is opaque and devoid of color. I only wish
To see the face of that which doesn’t die.I’m yearning
To heal and restore my image but this is not the place.
I’m envious of the dog, who can lick the wound so easily.
All we see are scars and faces in the bustling town.
On some nights we can swallow the head-fights,
If the moon is full. I was born on the day the moon was full,
By the edge of the clouds, rearranging the stars and colors
And being body-god. Time is a patterned recollection of pain.
Death is a careful recollection of snapshots. The broken clay pots
Are grave-signs. I’m a piece of fire, polishing the skin of
The people that sought to know little about restoration.
Bots and android cannot measure the depth of poems
Because Aya left them no clue
Because Aya is a piece of a wild flower
Say, the thing about the future is it’s unending wallpapers
Covering the last piece of your imagination,
I survived the past and I was there naming that present
A forgotten past, yet, lemongrass stuffs its face into the soil
And colour water into a lemonade.
I will If I would tell you that here, the bot era is nothing of strength —
A man would come to weigh three-hundred and sixty pounds and
Paris is failing to see its fall, failing to count its destroyers
You would come through the western sands and pink petals
Of grief is stuffed into your pocket as a sign, a symbol, a piece
Of information that your parent would survive the apocalypse
That people born in the sands know as much about drowning
As people born in the front of the shores.
Because when Aya used to record voice notes and classify
Them based on pitch Pitch blend I was certain she knew little
And nothing of what the plutonium did to her brother —
That is to say, Aya grew in a land that deserved nobody’s honesty
That is to say your mother is an outlet of broken things, say
Your mother is the wind departing a lover’s lip
And most times in August, when the rain is as much as the clouds
Terracing all the places with odd names, evaluating all the places
With masked men filling the dead-holes with perfumed voices
Say, when I see how vast the universe has become
I feel lonely as graveyards with broken clay plates by the sides
Fill a cemetery and catching a glimpse of the glimmering shadows
Of light, of time, of anything less than a cloak.
I know a lot about a coral hit on the surface of the Mediterranean
Because few hours before we launched my brother into space;
A bureau of magical things that hangs the coal by the chin and
Walks without smoke into a wounded part of the day left uncovered.
All the while, journey to Busan in a ship that let it heels walk the face
Of the waters through a part of the sea without love for the humane,
We put our skins together into one skin and let the sweats be our warmth…
A day before the garden I used to own in Congo knew light, the devil spit
A morsel of pale galactose and never let the walls slim-fit their selves
Into a snapdragon.
Because the city Is blue, distanced stripe of a broken home, the first goat
We saw held the prayers to the sky and spoke about how all the twines
In the place knew something or the other on tendrils.
The president left a note in his chest pocket and Melinda had only one job—
Discard his clothes and do not let the cologne hit the tip of your nostril,
Because a sensation smelled is an emotion to the mind yet she placed her
Eyes and took from the note it’s meaning on inks, she caused the northern
Rift and today the future is not a poem every poet wishes to write,
Because our mothers were never the unpacked petals of roses
Because this is not just a survivor tale… the end is anytime soon for
For All Of Us
Yet, I still find the bending of reality quite a cliché.
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