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Lost Objects & Other Poems

Taiwo Hassan

Once I Journeyed into My Mother's Prayers

bismillah, i step in & the cold finds an anchor on my frail feet. in this abyss, nothing feels the same. i

shout but only silence echoes back. i find familiar voices, shrunken into faint words, into the dripping

sounds of wudu’u, into a fading A’dhan, into her dark knuckles. i watch as ayyatul kursiy soften her

ankles, her losses, watering them into fields of roses and lillies. is this what years of pain and patience

feel like? i dig into the graves she cries about, exhume the several weights she buries there and find the

voices she's always in a conversation with every moonless night, i douse them in my blood, i always

seem to do that at every twisted place i encounter, or tell me, how else can i assure my body that it too

can be a home of answers? i departand they still float - these slumped shoulders, this body of

questions, the lilies in my chest, they become dust, they turn into testaments of a body finding

resonance. nostalgia hits its crescendo and her radio jolts me back to life, making enough noise to fill

this poem’s emptiness —i am—showered with a known supplication, stanzas praying anxiety into

beads of a tasbih, palm lines replacing their smooth roundness, flowering loneliness into orange mists.



I'm No Stranger to the Rain

to the familiar trail of its drizzles after they kiss a thirsty mass of dry leaves, to the silence that settles

briefly after a downpour, to the scattered vision of a wet night, to a cosmos of winged termites and

blinding lights and the toads that help themselves to the fallen ones, to the flickering parts of a boy and

his numerous hopes. here, scanty stars fill themselves up with buried memories, thunders make strange

melodies with calculated chirps, gushes of a flooded gutter replace the cackles of burning embers and i

fold myself into my grandmother's lullabies. i tried weaving their weight on my lips and making my

tongue into a new home for their innocence but softness isn't a confluence my mouth is familiar with.

i guess this is one of the few things age turns distant. i tried remembering how a zephyr struggled to be

their closest synonym, how they found a way to be a nest and i, a cold bird, how they flowed on and

on and into my knuckles, then my arms, then the dark shades around my eyes, then my blood, then the

countless elements she said my palms hold - the symmetry of light, a haven where tears and fears

become complementary angles, an estuary where time becomes moribund, i remember her saying,

turn to them for solace, turn to them to find me. remember child, you too, can be a butterfly, you too

can fly with wings that carry the pain and the beauty of metamorphosis, you too can testify to the

miracle of hope, you too, can melt what makes your heart burn, into a metaphor, you too, can be a

bird capable of singing a dirge into an ode, you too, can be

a poem.



Lost Objects

any time i witness a black body hit a ground doused in shades similar to his skin, i fall into a trance and

my thoughts sink before me. palpitations fill the rest of this void and i become immersed in a throbbing

fear. each scar that has graced my skin grows feet and retreat into their past, into wounds trying to

exhume reasons for their pinkness. there and then, i discover there's never a right time to shrink into a

boy. touch a piece of this poem and watch your hair become darker. i'm still here, dreams grow thorns

and their petals stay torn between strangeness and a dark place. how long can a fire on water continue

to burn? how far can its flames go before they dissolve into ashes, then soot, then a reminder of a heart

that was once pumped full with dreams, of bones that had butterflies blooming in their marrow, of a

body that once shed nothing but miracles and memories? there's something about lost objects that

stand as a reminder of the elasticity a memory possesses. the day the wind decided to make my brother

into a zephyr, into a part of its tenderness, he became an untethered kite and i, helpless hands, grasping

at what's left of that anchor, holding on to a slippery string like his last smile, its length, his perfect

dentition, each knot, the songs his lips could point at its bearing. i remember Taylor Swift, the

countless ways i've come to find pieces of her songs him in my frail self. home mirrored into the

bridges we could never burn. you could show me his face and i'll count the seconds he took before he finally

arrived after me. i once heard some emotions are best let out in the irony of their expectations,

Kẹ́hìǹdé, if you don't laugh, i'll cry. can we just exhume nostalgia with the happy cackles of our

next-door neighbour's kids again? watch them build dreams in sandcastles and cook hope in tin foils?

can we bury our noses in dried laundry, inhale that redemption and remember what it means to hold

our childhood, once more?


Taiwo Hassan is a writer of Yorùbá descent, a poet and a vocalist. A Best Of The Net Nominee, his poems have appeared in trampset, Kissing Dynamite, Lucent Dreaming, The Shore, Brittle Paper, Dust Poetry Magazine, Ice Floe Press,Wizards In Space and several other places. He emerged the first runner-up for the MANI 10 year anniversary Poetry Competition. He's also an undergraduate student of Demography and Social Statistics at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ilé-Ifẹ̀, Osun State, Nigeria. His first chapbook, Birds Don't Fly For Pleasure is forthcoming for publication by River Glass Books.



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