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Sodiq Oyekanmi: notebook fragments

notebook fragments.

a for autumn. the family tree is                stripped—off its leaves.

because life is as simple as ABC / I ate up 26 memories.
          because C is for children, constipation, cholera & coffin.

this is how my alphabet tastes like:
                     a drop of ink a drop of blood.

now I know my ABC.

two boys were ashed for mispronunciation: guy. gay.
Webster: gay — 1. happy, lively, colourful.           2. homosexual.

funny how their pleas sounded like my nursery rhymes.
                another one silenced like the b in debt.

letter S slithers like a snake to a boy’s laughter slaughter.
                he was my classmate in nursery two.

Small letter /i/ reminds me of my step brother.
dis—mem—bered,                his two arms gone. I lost my vowels.

now I can’t find E in my R_ST again.

now I know my ABC.

digging for meaning — the distance between e & i
on my alphabetical table.                I fell in love & b r o k e
                     my heart.

digging for the meaning of life,                the knife
chipped off my A on the alphabetical table: B for blood. C for cut.
                     D for death.

now I know my ABC.

                     but the end is the beginning
for a boy whose table is dis—tor—ted: Z, Y…           why?

why do I keep
falling for you? / like rain? / like tears?

father re-married for the fifth time. the family tree
looking like MNVWX; like sticks falling on each other.

now I know my ABC (?)

P for problem. how do I explain to my step brother
           that knife doesn’t rhyme with life?
                     & it’s not a writing material for a boy’s body?

A for apple,           father got his Adam’s apple sliced,
                my brothers took a bite.

It took me six years to learn the difference
in writing p q b d           because they all look like brothers at war.

Poetry © Sodiq Oyekanmi
Image: kropekk_pl via Pixabay/Matthias Heyde on Unsplash

Sodiq Oyekanmi
Sodiq Oyekanmi
Sodiq Oyekanmi is a Nigerian poet and a student of the University of Ibadan, where he currently studies Theatre Arts. He enjoys writing poetry as he sees this as a creative outlet that enables him to reflect the world around him. He is hopeless romantic. His works explore grief, depression, finding oneself, love and heart-quakes. His work is forthcoming on Kalahari Review and have appeared on Black Youth, Echelon Review, and other literary blogs. When he is not reading or writing, he is listening to Kendrick and Eminem’s songs. You can find him on Facebook @ Sodïq Oyèkànmí.


  1. This is so beautiful❤️❤️ the play on word is top-notch and every letter passed across a clear message. More ink in your pen✍️👐

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