PRELUDE FOR SEEKING ASYLUM

there is no life to be found in violence — bell hooks

someone plucked the moon from the
sky, forged
it into a scimitar. & the earth fell out

of place.

i try to understand what spelled this
city’s name
backwards into a hush, to know why

storms are born with only one thirst:
to churn
whatever resists the wind.

& when i cry for a route into forget-
fulness, home
glistens like some crevice the sun

squeezes through. i’ve never really
been this close
to far.

i return from every voyage with
a longing
for distance.

of what use is a lullaby to a child
cradled
on a bed of deluge?

STEREOTYPE

I’m listening to the radio
& thinking
what relationship exists

between home
& a birthmark.
In places, dark is the face

my name conjures.
I, one out of other
strange words lost

to this metonymy,
a figure draining speech
from pink lips.

To be familiar
with the way a name
pulls suspicion

out of an embrace
is to watch
a serpent’s shadow creep

out of a bird’s nest—
this is not of my image,
my pleas would fall on ears

stuffed with cottons
plucked
from my backyard.

About the Author

Ayokunle Samuel Betiku is a Nigerian writer who sees his fingers as bridges between his heart & the world. His work has appeared in journals and anthologies, including Parousia, Shuzia, Monus, EOPP, BPPC, African Writer, Libretto & elsewhere. He lives in the city of Ondo, South West Nigeria, from where he writes.

Ngiga
editor@ngigareview.com
We're legion

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