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'In Syria, Bombs Make Prayers Cacochymical'

Salah and I escaped

The blast that ate our mother

And turned our father

To the offering God punished

Eli's sons for eating

Looking for the safest tattered house to sleep:

I held Salah's hand, smiling

To him

As if what we lose is the leg of the goat our father rears

Before death

Everything in Syria will make you cry, so why not smile?

I know Allah hates oxymoron.

A bullet entered through Salah's forehead,

While we were fleeing from gunshots,

I smiled and took it from the back of his skull

& put it in my pocket

(I cannot carry a dead body with me &

I have to show the world I have a lineage

so that they will not say I fell from the sky)

My smile convinced the BBC journalist

(Just as I know, it is convincing God)

So, he came to me and asked me:

Journalist: before now, what do you want

to become?

Me: I want to be some mothers prayer

every morning they wake up to pray

for their children.

How to Love Like a Piano

I wonder why God did not create humans for

the same purpose Bartolommeo Cristofori built the piano:

to give pleasure without aches.

Like we go to the piano and play

the keys according to the tunes we like

and, later drop it after playing

to our satisfaction

and the keyboard does not complain.

We should be like the piano:

be useful and love people without expecting anything

in return.

About The Poet

Idowu Odeyemi is a poet and essayist. As a graduate in philosophy, he is interested

in engaging human existential issues - social, political, cultural, and philosophical-

and this shows in his writings. He is the winner of the 2019 Merak Magazine

(Liverpool, UK) Literary Recognition Award and Ekiti Future Prize for Literature.

He was shortlisted for the 2018 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize and Christopher

Okigbo Poetry Prize. He is a past-life contributor to Perhappened magazine, Barren

Magazine, Brittlepaper, Icefloepress, The Nation, Blue Marble Review, among others.

He is the current Managing Editor of Echelon Review, Onatrio, Canada.

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