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, Ninshar.art, window facing windows review elsewhere. He tweets @panini500bc