SELF PORTRAIT AS A FADING HOROSCOPE

I failed trying to paint the clouds with the acrylic
of my grief, to watch ennui cascade
like the waters my eyes couldn’t hold. perhaps
the lilies ornamenting a garden will feel
my blandness pelt their skins and blossom into hope.
soon, I’ll wander through a street that doesn’t
recognize my voice in search of a language seized
in my larynx [in search of grace fading from my tongue].
I orion of disillusionment. I, a body shapeshifting
into a grey orb like the movies portray the deoxygenation
of earth. soon, I’ll chant the panegyrics of ifá in search of
my forefathers’ voices, perhaps, there’s an answer to how
my skin evolved into a home for volcanoes.
I, unawakened, I, uncertainty, I, a voice in the lines of dying poems.
tilt this poem towards a mirror and watch it become
a soul flaying in the hands of ash. no one told
me a boy can become a firefly that eats its
own light because light reminds
it of the afternoon grief moonwalked into it.
this poem is a fire receding into ash, and the ash,
a messenger in air searching for paradise,
searching for sanctuary, searching for a
friendly hand without the embryos of cactuses.

Ilorin, 2022

Muhammed Sanni Olowonjoyin, TPC III, studies Biochemistry at the University of Ilorin. His poems have been published or forthcoming in Brittle Paper, Aôthen Magazine, The Kalahari Review, Acropolis Journal, Salamander Ink Magazine, African Writer, Kreative Diadem, and elsewhere. He reads poetry for The Dodge Magazine. When he's not tracing biochemical pathways, reading, or writing, he's searching for peace.

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MUHAMMED OLOWONJOYIN