Two poems by Timi Sanni w/ a Painting by Robert Frede Kenter

The Portrait of My Mother As an Antagonist of Death

Mother said in another world, I wasn’t born.
She said the road ate my father on his way
to a protest that never held in truth, because
he was a fire the wind put off before it could
reach the kindling of Aluta.         I still imagine
what would have happened if malaikul mawt
had ridden his body of a soul that day 1,005
days before I came to be. But mother stood
staunch in the face of death as though her
body housed excess souls. She stood akimbo
by the door of his hospital ward so each time
death came visiting, it met the fierceness
of a woman at the door, saying: Not today


After reading O. A. Alhaytham Adedokun

somedays, i’m only a waning shadow / then i see
my world atop your head / like the crest / of an
iceberg / jutting above salty waters. i remember
my dreams / a mirror whose shards / you made
into glory & i flicker into light.   how do you say
my name, mama / in a way / that it echoes back
as victory.               remember when I died —first
in the mouth of fire    then / in the hands of ice /
your love awakened my burnt wings / to measure
the sky again    thawed death’s icicles / on the
frozen wasteland that was my body.           today/
a bird carries me / into the valley at the foot
of a mountain & i see your honour gleaming /
a golden star at the top.

Timi Sanni is a Nigerian writer, literary enthusiast studying Biochemistry at Lagos State University, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Radical Art Review, X-ray Literary Magazine, Macro Magazine, Ethel Zine, Cypress: A Literary Journal, Rather Quiet and elsewhere. He recently won the SprinNG Poetry Contest 2020 and is the recipient of the Fitrah Review Prize for Fiction 2020. When not writing or studying, Timi likes to paint or explore new places. He is an editor for Kalopsia Literary and Upwrite Magazine. Find him on twitter: (4) Timi Sanni (@timisanni) / Twitter

Banner: Landscape, a painting by Robert Frede Kenter Twitter:(4) RobertFredeKenter (@frede_kenter) / Twitter

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