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paper boat | Sodiq Oyekanmi 

paper boat | Sodiq Oyekanmi 


the bullet wound on the wall clock 

refuses to heal. here, life is in a loop.

someone is always dying.


& my brother is dead.           dead.

there’s no euphemism for that.       grief is not something

one can ferry with a paper boat for too long.     & there’s

always an aperture      in every prayer my mouth chants

towards heaven…


at 11 / father returns home soulless / he returns as a jacket

/ a ripped jeans / & a bottle of ogogoro // mother becomes

the body /b/ in tomb / silent /   so silent she can’t say āmin

to my prayer / asking God to revert everything /everything 

He has plucked from us //  there is enough rafflesia keithii 

growing in our floral garden / as if to tell us that   no more 

daises no more roses no more lilies no more orchids  no

more living beings just corpses corpses  corpses corpses!


the bullet wound   on the wall clock never heals    

 there’s a boy 2 minutes away from drowning 

  & a poem won’t save him   perhaps a poem

                          is just another paper boat 

                      sailing away to



i rip out all the pictures in the photo album

& make a papier-mâché boat

the colour of whisked rainbow.

Sodiq Oyekanmi

Sodiq Oyekanmi is a Nigerian poet, playwright and thespian; a student of the University of Ibadan, where he currently studies Theatre Arts. He enjoys writing poetry as he sees this as a therapeutic creative outlet. His works explore marital dysfunction, grief, depression, finding oneself, love and heart-quakes. He co-judged the Akuko Magazine’s Inaugural Literary Competition for African Writers [Poetry Category] with Rosed Serrano. His works have appeared / forthcoming in Pigeonholes, The Shallow Tales Review, African Writer Magazine, Brittle Paper, Black Youth Magazine,  Iman Collective, The Drinking Gourd, Trampset, Rigorous Magazine, Kalahari Review, Echelon Review, Praxis Magazine and BANSI: The Anthology of Boys Men & Others III. He is currently working on his first poetry chapbook. A hopeless romantic who tweets @sodiqoyekan.

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

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