Nostalgia tinges my street of thought, as my legs tread the pate of this alien street. Here, it’s like the sky is gravid with needles, waiting patiently like a panther in its lair to rain fangs of terror into my fragile skull. Nothing makes sense here, nothing at all makes an iota of sense here: roses smell like grief, sugar cane down the throat tastes like bile, every night— visiting bats on the mango tree near my window scorch the velvet of silky sleep with their eerie screech. Every mourning, another morning, the radio wails to my dirge-allergic ears with glee. The desire to smell the potted roses on my veranda at home, to count birds not bullets in the sky deepens like the gut of the sea. I want to go, I need to go, I want to flee, but these home-craving hands are tied, but these peace-pining legs are fettered.
Abdulmueed Balogun is a Nigerian poet and an undergrad at the University of Ibadan. He is a 2021 HUES Foundation Scholar and a poetry editor at The Global Youth Review. He was longlisted for the 2021 Ebarcce Prize, Finalist: 2021 Wingless Dreamer Book of Black Poetry Contest, won Honorable mention: 2021 Whispering Crescent Poetry Prize. His works are forthcoming in: Avalon Literary Review, The Night Heron Barks, Salamander Ink, Bowery Gothic, Subnivean Magazine, Jmww Journal, The Remant Archive and anthologized in: Fevers of Mind (Poets of 2020) and 2021 Cathalbui Poetry Competition selected entries. He tweets from: AbdmueedA