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Muhammed Olowonjoyin


I mirror my dreams above my shoulders

and they appear half-broken, almost headless, 

ravaged by the dark spots that inherit the 

wrath of fire. I’ve always been a boy that gathers 

himself, ember by ember, to feed 

what’s left of him the spite of a turbulent body. 

what more do I know?

I’m a burning place setting free. the

truth is: I can feel the white of my

bones get eclipsed—dying things beclouding

living things. I leave them to be the way

this place says it doesn’t know how to

save us. but I’m one of a saviour myself:

I’ve saved myself from the shackles of

empty heavens to preserve my dwindling

lights. I oasis of my existence. I camouflage

into fluorescence. I bloom. I firefly because

the beauty I stretch for wrestles in the

dreams of my dreams. all I want as a

wanderer is to beautiful in this chaos, and

with a home. there are walls crashing

in these stories to squash what’s left of us.

boys exsanguinate, boys live. but notice

how our hands can’t hold waters for long?

that’s always the closest we’ve gotten

to loving. I hear “don’t worry, boy, you’ll

be fine” through the smoke suffusing

the wind but I know that’s just a way to lie.

I know being fine means being un-alive—

torn apart by thorns and fire, & finely ground

into memories. say bloodstained petals are

metaphors for war. I elegance in a war

that pares me open in a nightmare like

the tooth of a scalpel. I Icarus and live.

what bleeds is inside me; a turgid animal

that longs to fountain out like molten magma.

I get it drunk and crash-land into the

memories of waters where I have

forgotten how to drown.

Muhammed Olowonjoyin [TPC III] is a Nigerian poet and a student of Biochemistry at the University of Ilorin. He was third the runner-up in the Nigerian Students' Poetry Prize (2022), and was named Honorable Mention in the Kreative Diadem Poetry Contest (2022). His poems are published or forthcoming in Writer Space Africa, Olney Magazine, Stanchion, Poetry Column NND, Brittle Paper, Quarter After Eight, The Bitchin' Kitsch, TSTR, and elsewhere.

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