Category Archives: Contributors

No One Wants to Write an Elegy The disposition of the gravelike an openmouth.Cut is the stalkthat might have grown fullystraight. We trampledew-wet grasses finely latticed with day-oldspider webs. No onewants to write an elegy.The cruelty of sweet-smellingearth, the wet thump as it splashesoff the shovels. And already there is nothing left to see. As evening comes birds go quietlyinto the dark. Relatives fill upthe gaping rooms. We sitaround the hearth, watchingthe flames lick up mounds ofdry sugarcane pulp. And the old womencover the silence with their weeping. Contributor’s Bio Ridwan Badamasi is a Nigerian. He writes from the ancient city of Kano. A Biochemistry undergrad at Bayero University, his works have appeared in Praxis Magazine, Kalahari Review, Salamander Ink Magazine, and elsewhere. You can find him on Instagram: @pluetarch. Also, via email at [email protected].

19 LINES FROM FRAGMENTS OF MY LOVE She carries the gods in her palm, and her painting, on the brittle glass, some grey-ash primroses, hummingbirds and some rose flowers lurking in her toes too. I wrote her name on my palm—her home. I feel how enthralling it is to have someone I love on the walls of my hands, I rewrite it, and a smile is engraved on my cheek. Her hair flutters, shuttering at the conundrums on the streets of Ikeja, which murdered her sweet smiles, and resurrecting it into a canto, filled with butterflies and sprouted petals. She glows the verses on the thin lines from the inklings written on the timber barks, then her iris, made the darkened room a burst of sunshine. Take! A cup from the afterlife, all things visible, half of a moon, in the skins of a bruised tooth and some tattered breadfruits—…

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Adderall That morning when their result was released, two weeks after their first-semester exam, Farnaz was sitting on his bunk bed and flipping through his journal. He stared at his journal entry dated February 28. He had penned down those words of Dr. Oyin while she was giving an address on how to succeed as a student at their white coat ceremony.   February 28, Quotable quote; “The fact that you made it into this prestigious department at all means that you are above average, and you have all it takes to pull through to the end.” Dr. Oyin. The entry was meant to be a source of motivation for him and it was but for a brief period before he saw his exam scores in red ink. Before he was first advised to repeat his year two. The more he stared, the more the entry looked faint and almost…

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i redeem their emptiness with food i. God indoctrinated me a lesson in the afternoon:             solve, b + h – w =?               that is, boy + hunger… – water =? interpretation:             a bridge; underneath, the sleeping boy    unlearned the colour             of his skin     or hometown & slept       winter’s blanket a faucet: solution:              ab + h – w =?    that is, [a boy + hunger… – water =?]             = ab + h – w = q + t             that is, [a boy + hunger – water = quivering + thirstiness]         = ab + h – w = q + t ≠ s         that is, [a boy + hunger – water = quivering + thirstiness ≠ survival]             ∴ = quietus.  interpretation: if no drop of water has danced on the boy’s tongue &    a scalpel hunger   forgot to collect the cuts on…

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Lifestyle How wicked a space is to a body is notable in the way  a bird puts a stop to its song of hope, while I am still  drawing strength from its lyrics, while in the wood. I have been here on most days of my life, a place I share  with lonely little things. There is an earthworm burrowing  into the earth and I am reminded how grief screws into my body. In another interpretation, I am searching for a space to call home. The earth is not running perhaps because it has no home elsewhere.  Tell me where is large enough to welcome its vastness, its history of motherhood, the forlorn creatures hidden beneath its wings? In the way it orbits the sun, I think it pleases the earth to relocate.  Little me welcomes little things. Isn’t this the way of life: the pelting of plagues like algae…

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Riddles of a Lost Boy I am something— wandering  is my native heirloom. my ancestors,               shifting lands &  shape-shifting tongues.    all oduduwa’s milk & honey not sufficing to quench their thirst                                                                                                         for new land.       the result:       a minor(ity) problem.  a leaf has fallen                                                                      too far from its tree.     a people in Kogi                                                      torn apart from their heritage by the thin lines that shape states.                                                    wandering is a family heirloom. I wandered                                                  from my culture as a seed  in my father’s balls                                  in search of greener pastures         to plant me.  which is to say                                                            I was a nomad before I was born. drifting through cities: Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, and Kaduna. two…

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When a Wind Blows, Flowers Pollinate. When you unclothed your face, a beast is seen eating the curtains of the sky. You said your days cry when you sing a bird And the sun laughs at your sluggish face But your face is a mirror where we draw our sins And our sins are the broken hymen of our home. Remember, these days are smoke, fog, and dust. & Earth is created without a husband. I entered this day with my first dream As a boy carries the rivers of his stomach Then, I sat on the palm of the immortal embers Where my skull is eaten first then my neck & my torso, Where I slept in the bowl of blood Writing a letter to my mother, There’s no better way to narrate our pains And no way to slaughter flowers that didn’t know the voice of men. Like…

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Seasons I have thrown my hands of deeds into the air for sundry to inhale the scents. Now they are all coming back to me in their own season of harvest when I was already gasping and choking on dearth. You say kind are my doings. We are often christened after our adjectives or attributes of arrival (at birth). Ask your mother if I lied. For the tokens, I have given, a whole bag of gratitude steps into my door and unfolds itself of treasures. You behear knocks on your heart wherever you are— far from home, and your soul welcomes this charity like a window to a morning sunrise. Tell me more about chivalry again. Perhaps, I could remember how a strange woman told me to not stop being a beacon, even at my lowest current of light— I lent her a hand to mount from a stumble. Maybe…

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