By Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò
arrowslit, this city continues to shoot deep inside me.
believe me when i say i am broken in places that have
cut ties with the art of repair. saltwater, i brew a dead
dream like a mother waking her bullet-ridden child for
errands. in this song, i die. in another, i wish to wake,
flap wings to the threshold of bliss. but there's a fire ahead
greedy for more bones. how masterful have we become
harping our grief like a wreckage relished. against light,
i colonize a town within me that has begun to ride a destrier of
joy—how can you chase fireflies when every night often dies a
knight in a syntax of chaos? rid me of all these nightingales, i
lust a raven, tonight, to croon me dirges. o, what morning has
met me without a sea of heads mourning? your brother has
not returned home since all these years, father said. like a feral
ox, if only he knew how much i wish to disappear.
please me in a way i will forget all these pains, love—roguish.
quacking, i desire a river to douse this fire. what part of me is
rusting again? i reduce into tears at the masjid & say a prayer,
strike a rib within me like a violin string, i want a taste of little comfort.
turning, this is where i am heading home—to where i quake in the
ubicity of desolation. a bird sits at the lintel of my heart, its voice
vacant of songs. misery. misery. misery. what sort of ruin is this?
whisper my ears some good tidings, i told my dead mother in a dream.
x-ray? i embody a lot of invisible scars, enough to break a radiograph.
yell into the space & what comes in return is an echo of gun-wound, a cop
zealous for the fall of bodies.
Being in Love with a Mermaid
By Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò
is expensive / & i am in for the doom / the planktons witness / the whole coitus / how often i break her hipbone / sucked into desire / like an eel powering the sinking titanic / i want it all / shockwaves / microwaves / to gulp down the seafarers / that disrupt our momentary love / what kind of golden hair do you plait / what sort of silver scale do you wear / i open like a ravine / wade into my harbour / you, sexy sumptuous seal / they call you the goddess of water / i, of the earth / we conflux into morning / into a sanctuary of songs / i am a menace in the depths / yes, Queen, croon slow / yes, Queen, i swoon at your glow / what tempest do you fear / what thunderstorm do you dread / if i lay as eggs beside you / would you hatch me gentle / i capsize into your body / like a leaking ferry / save my bones for midnight / partake in my parable of pains / forked tongue, you lick me into a weird chord / i ghost-dance against my wounds / let me dry die in this canyon of love / grant me the wheels / to be your vessel rider / huckleberry / honeysuckle / o poor thing, this is where i drown
Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò (he/him/his) is a Nigerian writer, frontier V and an undergrad of Mass Communication. His works have appeared in Afritondo, Perhappened, Kissing Dynamite, Lumiere Review and elsewhere.