In the last poem my brother wrote, he folded himself into stanzas of sorrow, with each line punctuated with blood. I reckoned the demons on the pages scared the editor to his bones that he sent him a rejection mail immediately. twice. Dear Fawaz,  
Thank you for your submission. I read your poem. it’s beautifully—distressing; it is not what we are seeking for inclusion in the XYZ Magazine. Kind Regards, XYZ. Note: Please do not resubmit the poem or send it elsewhere, to save other editor(s) horrific nightmares. And get yourself an exorcist a therapist.

In the last poem my brother wrote, he sharpened razors with metaphors and slashed out every line with his name Fawaz. While writing the poem, a hymn fell from his mouth / a litany / a threnody. He time-travelled back to 1999 to borrow Sarah Kane’s shoelace. My parent saved him.

When I read the poem, there’s enough spaces in the lines to bury a body. Last night in the poem he wrote, he folded himself into stanzas of sorrow, with each line punctuated with death.

This morning, my brother got a text from his friend who is 167 kilometers away. Dear Fawaz, how have you been holding up? I’m here in the hospital with my brother who is battling leukemia. Send us a prayer. He wants to live. He’s really fighting for his life. Take care.

After reading the text, my brother opened a new page on his writing pad.

Dear Lord, I need light. I really want to leave live…

Sodiq Oyekanmi is a poet and thespian; 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 works have appeared on Kalahari Review, Black Youth Magazine, Praxis Magazine, Echelon Review, CROWNDESERVER, Brittle Paper and African Writer Magazine. When he is not reading or writing, he is listening to Rilés and Kendrick’s songs. He tweets @sodiqoyekan.


Photography by: Scott Osborn



by Sodiq Oyekanmi

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