by Abdulrazaq Salihu
Winner: 2022 Poetry Award
I gave a brother in Islam my sweat glands and
Sebaceous glands and a covering of hair by the road.
Wine and gingerbread cooked in chlorine,
The body screams in glass wallpapers the theory of life
And fig is date with a stench of macromolecules covering earth
A chest cracks and the atmosphere is snowy again,
Cells; not the simplest form pain can be,
My hands, carry the aura of a damp windowpane
Painting a silhouette red; my skin is leather shell
Of liquefied chromosomes, plutonium in a throat,
A brother swallows chaos and lays to rest,
Glucose plus oxygen and I’m growing towards the breaking Dawn
This brother steals my faith and his fate is now
My Qadr wrapped in a Qada’a that I have never seen
He swipes through my glass skin with fingers,
Equal of length-left side—left-right side—right
And all the omens of a kite on fire are owls with my eyes
And brown transformations of heavens glow, tipsy,
Blocked, breaking colours of grief by the
Rose lip and all are soon kisses no more.
Abdulrazaq (he/him) is a seventeen-year-old Nigerian poet who has been published nationally and internationally in many journals. He won the Nigerian Poetry Prize for Teen Authors and the 2022 Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation Poetry and Short Story Contest. Twitter @Arazaqsalihu | Instagram @abdulrazaq._salihu
This poem originally appeared on February 12, 2022 in Arts Lounge Magazine.