I ferry the sand of my thoughts towards the past,
to build a home from memories, I stumble into
the middle of a stream. Some memories are like a
crushed bitter leaf reinstating its bitterness to the
mouth in the aftermath of swallowing. My mother
falls back into grieving each time the pain draws her
into the Nile pouring from her eyes. I want to talk memories,
but they are too big, too large to pass through the
mouth. I open my eyes from the darkness of thoughts,
& wonder if the moon still shines. The night will
fall again, & I’ll stretch my hands to begging the sky
to be starry, bright, bright stars.
Mother still worries, nightly, like a wingless bird sitting
on a tree branch. Who will teach me how to eat from
goodness? The answer to prayers— a kind of light we want
God to effulge into the darkness in our lives. When my
mother thinks memories, she breaks into fragments of glass
reflecting the sultriness of the sun’s memories. When my
mother thinks memories, she conjures a River-Niger from
her face. When my mother think memories, she becomes
a brook dumping itself into the river of memories. The day
mother accepted love, she didn’t know that melancholy is a
guillotine chopping off the future, now turned memories.
The memories of me & my father are too dark, I trap
fireflies to see a glimpse of it —the boy was too small when
his father’s candle melted. The blurs from these memories
are the pains that keep singing me a ballad poem.
Abdulkareem Abdulkareem, Frontier III, is a Nigerian writer. His works appear/forthcoming on POETRY Magazine, Asterlit, Poetry Column-NND, Brittle Paper, Rulerless Magazine, Lumiere Review, Claw and Blossom, FERAL, Rigorous, Kissing Dynamite, & elsewhere. He won the University of Ilorin SU Writers Competition (Poetry Category) 2022. He reads poetry for Agbowó Magazine.