Moshkur Ajikobi (fondly called P-Seven) is a Nigerian poet, writer, and an advocate of Islamic literature. His work appears or forthcoming in The Kalahari Review, TVO Tribe, Almir'aat Magazine, Punk Noir Magazine, Lunch Break Zine, Rather Quiet, Coven Poetry, Riverbed Review, Brown Bag Online, Eremite Poetry, OneBlackBoyLikeThat Review and elsewhere. You can find him on twitter @almoshkur and Instagram @peeseven 20
Someone like you is a bow.
Bended neck and tail like a bracket
in the aimless hands
of a shooter who doesn't know the
names of pain and grief.
The deeper your bended neck and tail,
the wider the arrow travels in homeless air.
The arrow hits the wrong target,
falls between two forms, the
withdrawing all praise.
MAMA DIDN'T READ OUR FORTUNE WELL
our parents were privileged to have children
who'd acquiesce in their financial embarrassment
& after papa gave up the ghost in the poverty trap,
mama couldn't fly us out of the shanty town—
she told us our fortune by looking at the
thick lines of our pale palms.
she saw me on a golden throne, the moon & the stars
bowing beneath my crown. i read her deathly lips
blabbing about a god's verdict; then my
pallid sky welcomed the warmth of the
midnight sun. she saw my brother too; he'd have a place in the light
above ground—a uniform man whose
dog hunts down the bad guys.
she didn't see herself in our future. she
passed away, and now our eyes
have witnessed thousands of crescents growing
to full moons. nothing’s changed but the gray hair &
the roof that opens enough space for rain to saturate us.
Curtain rises & it's me onstage
lonely like an isolated beach,
the silence waves wander in, the
memories of blissful bikinis &
boxer shorts of flibbertigibbets
& beautiful noises of speakers
that drag hands & legs to modern dance.
Curtain draws & it's me offstage,
nothing changes, just the curtain.
The land is vast // with wide boulevards //
big blue rivers // high mountains //
boundless deserts // countless houses //
men of different colours // men of same blood //
yet // there's no place to live //
as if this sky // is not meant for me //
to live // beneath // & share the same water //
we paid nothing to get // & watch the bright moon //
as it lights the world // that my father once lived in //
& my mother just left // to meet our ancestors.
I wait alone for my last breath // in the vast land
that has no room // for orphans.