Counting alphabets of ash at home – a poem by Amina Akinola

Counting alphabets of ash at home

        After Sai Sabouke’s “Striking the Chords of Sorrow in a Muharram Morning”

these lines are buried in the oesophagus of bricks. where laughter dissolves in lacquered notes, swaying
to echoes of rust dreams as they drink slow songs of each day.

in this poem, a boy is losing the language to spell his pains, after bloodlines drew him to kiss hard
cheese of black metals, leaving him bold images for years of haunting reminisce.

and each day his demon rises, he poorly carries himself to temples with agony & brokenness. he says:
no one ever told us that sometimes evil is
found much more closely to home, and that
those who want to harm us can have the
most soothing and familiar voices

home, they say, is a spring of comfort
but what is home when empathy is a foe?
what’s home when it burns the children and hush them to flames, their ashes fan to the sky.
what become of home when it shuts voices and throws their key to wolves,
closing the adults to fear.

Amina Akinola Frontier VIII is an emerging Nigerian poet and a lover of art. She’s a student of Lagos State college of health technology and her poems are up, or forthcoming, on Brittle Paper, Sledgehammer Magazine, Icefloe Press, Ngiga Reviews, Woven Poetry, Shamsrumi, Fiery Scribble Reviews, Naija Readers Buffet, Spillword, Kalahari Reviews, Ninshar Art, and others. Her poem was shortlisted for the Arise Africa writers contest 2020 anthology. Her favorite poets are Ocean Vuong, Kaver Akbar, Romeo Oriogun, and Rasaq Malik Gbolahan. She also found interest in Nome Patrick, Samuel Samba, Flourish Joshua, and Jimoh Rahma. If she’s not reading or writing, she would definitely be eating.

Art: Glass Tears / Sky an image by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2022. Twitter: @frede_kenter.

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