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  You could have a big dipper   

Deflate by Abdulkareem Abdulkareem

CW: Loss, grief and self harm

When a man stands in silence for too long

eventually only the silence remains” – Kaveh Akbar

It wasn’t so long, I was looking glum– pulling

skylarks into my throat, gnawing them into

songs, into an elegy for the part of me

that burned like a field of cotton.

I trod a path with the absence of knives

for few minutes, splattered with tulips,

poplars on its boulevard, until grief came back

as arrows lurched towards me.

I’m back on my grandfather’s chair

feasting on a blowfish, I do not mind

neurotoxin ripping me into bones.

That’s how I live in the absence of grief.

Daily, my grief curates a disaster for me,

this disaster sitting on a cider box one of its eyes

plucked by an eagle, the eagle said it tasted saline.

But God! Why does grief keeps burdening me

with a plethora of disasters?

When a man stands in silence for too long

eventually only the silence remains.

Nightly, I take the place of my disaster,

sitting on a cinder— feasting on a nightingale,

singing the songs of grief because recuperation is

becoming a faraway thing,

I still try to hold my rosary with a tender hand,

my body like a punctured tire, I hope it

doesn’t deflate too soon.


Abdulkareem Abdulkareem (he/him) is a Nigerian writer, linguist, he studies Linguistics at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. His works have appeared/forthcoming on ARTmosterrific, Kalahari Review, Shallow Tales Review, Nnoko stories, Nanty greens, Ice Floe, Rigorous, Second Chance lit, Olney magazine,, window facing windows review elsewhere. He tweets @panini500bc

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