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Muhammed Olowonjoyin

Muhammed Olowonjoyin [TPC III] is a Nigerian poet and a student of Biochemistry at the University of Ilorin. Winner of the 2023 Dawn Prize for Poetry, he and his poems have been featured or forthcoming in Best Small Fictions, QAE Journal, Gutter Magazine, Pepper Coast Lit, Writer Space Africa, Olney Magazine, Stanchion, Poetry Column NND, Brittle Paper, Sunlight Press, and elsewhere. He reads poetry for The Dodge Magazine and tweets @APerSe_.

Construct IV

A boy fleeing his countenance in a country

Is a disintegrating thing in fire. A mirror

Of me or a mirror of you hoping running


Is the same thing as setting free. like the smoke.

His footfalls, glowing hyacinth a place watches 

Unglow. Calls it dreams. Watches him become


One with a sidewalk that wouldn’t save him

Or the rabid fire in his marrows. In his defense

Isn’t it a curse to have spikes for hands that


Bleed faces rather than wipe tears? What is

This type of napalm-ness if not how God hand

-picks boys and says they’re mouths and pulls


And pulls and pulls a tooth then throws them

In waters for baths, or baptism before a crow

Finds its voice in the smoking wind. How we


Become fears pouring into nightmares. 

So, picture this: a boy sweating in waters and 

Every drop of his sweat keeps pixelating into a 


Memory of leaving things. Of waters that failed

To save the wilting hyacinth in him. A constellation

unconstellating. So we hold too much fire & sink


after mistaking it for light. Waters on the therapist’s

Desk searching for what sinks the most between

Absence & memories. A pill to suture a place longing 


Departure when the clouds engulf our innards on nights

Of bittered bloods that draw curtains of volcanic ash 

above them. 

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