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This skin I wear is becoming a sanctuary for bullets—
this flesh acting as a bandolier for bullets,

even the roads detests this skin which evoked
the rage of the car which came to my brothers' beyond

the Atlantic Ocean & crushed them to God's feet.
How do I tell the painter to stop mixing this colour

on his palette? that it fades into dirges on the
lips of the world, &
 a headline for the Newspaper,

that this body is becoming an haven for unintentional
bullets. I will unlid the turpentine bowl in my house,

& dip my body into its entirety to wash this blackness
off my body, to wash this melanin off the canvas of my

frame, or at least get more lighter than a brown paper bag
to be able to pass its test.


Ilorin, 2021

Abdulkareem Abdulkareem (he/him) is a Nigerian writer and linguist, who wants his voice to go beyond the thatched roof of his mother’s house. He studies Linguistics and Nigerian Languages at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. His friends call him Pānini. He writes from the ancient city of Ilorin. His works have appeared on Poetrykit, ARTmosterrific, Naija Buffett Readers, Kalahari Review, Shallow Tales Review, Nnoko stories, Nanty greens, and forthcoming on Arts Lounge.

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