By: Ismail Yusuf Olumoh
when i was young, everything was cloudy; all i learned
became watery like melting shea butter. i thought it
will cascade, but it’s unclassified. it vaporised as usual.
on friday, grandpa took me to the central mosque to take
a bite from the baking words of the imam & say my orison.
i wondered, how would the castor sugar be acrid? he began
to wet my body with hot motes of burning charcoal. i heard
him reading from the scripture, “a fatherless child is not an
orphan, but the one that knows nothing.” that was a dagger—
i was scathed with it. grandpa betrayed me for the first time.
bàámí said i was too playful & lazy. & grandpa said, a cleric
would give me elham to awake my dead memory. that’s not
what i expected. everything was written in my body with stroke
like a hand-written scripture, moist with inks; seriousness,
wisdom & morality. grandpa betrayed me for the second time.
but everything, scribbles, here is stamped—can’t be extirpated.
Ismail Yusuf Olumoh is a Nigerian creative writer and teacher, a poet, a spoken word artiste, a graphics designer, a content creator, and a video editor. His works are published and forthcoming in Nanty Greens, Eboquills, Fevers of the mind, Poemify Publishers, Festival for poetry, De Curated, Synchronized Chaos, Willi Wash, World Planet Anthology, and others. He writes from Ilorin, Kwara State. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading or cooking.