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Photo credit: Shumona Sharna. Source: Flickr.

a song of loss

because we were young & bridled with beams
of immaculacy, our fathers, men whose tongues
had never tasted the pulse of sins, didn’t tell us
of the tsunami that brewed in the progenies of adam
when history was rewritten with blood, in a language
where every syntax is a sin. then, we walked with tons
of ignorance on our lips, profaning auguries on thrones
of truth, like kings bestriding with the piston of time.
then, we ate the fruit of silence, meshing its body,
layer by layer, while throbs of words swayed back & forth
our throats, like an eclipse of moths dancing in the labyrinth of light.


a pilgrimage into dance

she descended upon me like the gait
of rain on sahara’s dunes of dust,

balled on my flesh—swirls of her
hair brewing with rage,

denting the solitariness of my
beginnings. i watched her move

on the cotillion of my embers
in sinuous candor. & when dusk

came knocking with its elements
of chill & rust, we coiled into

a penumbra of oneness,
emitting songs, transposing rhythms.


a war of songs

i saw your fear settle in the comfort
only God’s breath can give.
i saw it stitch atoms of dust into photons of light,
each one a galaxy deifying the essence of your being.
i saw you metamorphose into a planet of colors,
illuminating the dark corners of the universe’s stage.
& like those climes before you ate eden’s miracle,
i subdued the shadows of your past.
your heartbeat: a pulse of joy illuming every moment.




About the Author:

Ajise Vincent is an economist and social researcher based in Sokoto, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in The Bond Street Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Jawline Review, Jalada, Ink, Sweat &amp, Tears, Chiron Review, Asian Signature, Ann Arbor Review, Yellow Chair Review, Bombay Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & healing, The Cadaverine, Souvenir literary journal, Elsewhere, Sentinel Quarterly, and various literary outlets. He is a recipient of the Eriata Oribhabor poetry prize 2015. He loves coffee, blondes and turtles.

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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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