By the gate of truth and honour, are shards
of ice, mound of natron and pit of grief.
Morph my sole into metal & let me walk
in the household of death like Moses
in the kingdom of pharaoh. I know
I am pure debris in this poem — a white linen.
I want to let go of this stinking frankincense
incensing me. Wash me clean off my past
like the brain of an amnesiac, remove
the cassia stuffed in my nose, remove
the pain of myrrh growing on my body
and rub me joy— cedar oil. By the gate
of peace and rest, are burning fires
and this cinnamon burning me inside.
Armour me with Ibrahim's
sufficient for me is my lord. Sometimes
fire is ice making a body crystal fresh.
Sometimes grief leads me to you, reminds
me of you. I bathe in a tub, filled with
depression. Sometimes I drink the palmy
water and it chokes me. Sometimes a corpse
eats only his mummified prayers — the cinnamon,
the cassia, the myrrh and the cedar oil.
About the Author
Abdullah Jimoh O. is a linguist and a budding writer. He finds delight in creativity. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in the Mudroom, Kalahari Review and Afritondo. He tweets @OC_plus_