For Adamu Mubaraq


Every day I decide to die, my body transforms
into fuel—your tongue, a lit match & this is
how we make sadness of the fire-dance.
you morphed into a stillness of water.
tonight, all I want to do is
hold you like a baby does to a nipple and tell you
how one night I trap your scent in beads of sweat
on my palms & sniff you like prayers—how I
imagine you dressed in collared suit near the
plantain gardens, singing all the songs that
once sliced your soul like a crescent—light
pouring from your eyes like a cursed rain &
you continue till all that is left of you is music
with grief as its theme; your face, burnt bread
in the Earth’s oven.

On Eid Eve,
a strange breeze sneaks
into our bones like harmattan cold
& yours was the first to lose it marrows.
your eyes building tears that do not fall into a tower, into Paris.
you grow into a mycelium of
dismembered hyphae[s]
& you say with your eyes shimmering of love
like a photograph of unrestrained laughter, that—
I’m the botanist to mend your broken
foliage. & your thoughts pulsate in my heart
at the frequency of the Earth’s cry.

There is something about how I wear you
like a carnival cloth, how I hide the greyness
of the moon in your eyes. how I chant your name
walking into days and I break instead.

Dear brother, listen to me if you still can—every day I
decide to die when I seek out each night & the day
refuses me. when at the mention of love all I
want to do is rust all my memories into rosewater
& place it in the proper mouth—your mouth.

Yester-night in my dream,
we dance a slow dance till
the mirror cracks and we are
stuck within—you laugh
out loud till your voice became
a crackle of misty bones. & you whirl
and vanish into a constellation of
lost stars.

Let there be light—split, you, a night.
let me steal a moment from you.
your flickering eyes: exit wounds
of misery. flickery little thing,
sing me. music. scattered verses
birthed from burnt vocals.

Every day, I decide to die but,
tonight, I want to watch tomorrow
turn into laughter in your mouth.
I want to love you tenderly.
you, a dim light in a dark night.
you, an egg placed in the highest of cliffs.
you, a lover’s last wish before melting into a
rusted needle.
& pluck my breath, that, too, is how we
make music off this beauty.








Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels