every poet writes in my country to stay happy – a poem by Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò

every poet writes in my country to stay happy

i have written poems too grief-stricken that
i have grown exhausted like worn-out tyres.
we want roses blooming in our houses as well
but i fear they might catch fire or wither from
another sudden touch of grief. this won’t
be the last time i will reiterate that i am a damaging
weed, an outcast germinating in a country where gospel of guns
is a sermon raging in the throats of boys in black.
i wring myself here, it is an admixture of sweat and blood.
happiness: a needle that plummets in an Atlantic Ocean
& everyone here is still in search for greener pastures
they become usurped by the tempest on the Mediterranean sea.
grief: a wounded thrush we keep stroking to sing again
but not too horrible that a father will wilt at the echo
of a stray bullet.
i fold a wet tulip in my palm & hope it doesn’t metamorphose
into harsh chrysanthemums i plant on the grave of my mother.
every morning in Kaduna, a truck is a leaking container
spilling blood of scores of men who once thought: one day, i will
desert this country like vegetation abandoning Sahara desert
before i become another dust levitating in the air.

Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò is an emerging writer and a student of Mass Communication. He is a social activist who is passionate about inequality, politics, domestic violence, and child rights. His works have appeared on Brittle Paper, Rough Cut Press, Poetry Column ND, Rigorous Magazine, Salamander Ink, Eremite Poetry, Mixed Mag, Ninsha Arts, Arts Lounge, Ngiga Review, Nanty Greens, and African Magazine. He is the August winner of PIN-10 DAY POETRY and has been shortlisted in BPPC June/July Anthology. In his leisure time, he is either writing, reading or binge-watching cartoons. Twitter: @eniola_abdulroq

Art: The Arc at the Empty Station (2018/2022). A visual poem. (c) by Robert Frede Kenter. Twitter: @frede_kenter, IG: r.f.k.vispocityshuffle.

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