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NWANGENE

is that, we burn the world, from here,
with our smell of smoke, like incenses
cutting corners to find a room in the clouds.
we make songs a little more than a collection of notes.
sometimes, it is how we say a prayer for my brother
& my mother & the names of the boys that made ashes
the remains of burnt bodies; other times, it is the way we mourn.
i try to squeeze my body in their coffins—the hearts of people
crying for them, because people who are burnt in a room
as they sleep do not fit in a coffin, they are placed in a mug—
and i hear the echoes of their broken souls; like disjointed arms
they are displaced from here, placed in a dream, stranded, made
to live in a town that has no street.
a boy woke us one dawn, with tears that reeked of terror
& terrible absence; we knew what every sigh meant:
they burnt his father and made him watch.
he was seven. another body has been made water floating to clouds
it will rain in Barnawa again.

 

 

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About the Author:

IMG_7901Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau’s short collection of poems, for boys who went, was published in December 2016. Adedayo writes about loss, home, family and himself. He is still finding for himself a voice.

*****

Post image by Nzube Ifechukwu.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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