By Fatihah Quadri

Èjìrẹ́, Aráìsokún, ẹdunjobi, Ọmọ ẹdun tí ń ṣeré orí-igi. Ọ̀kan ni mo bèrè, èjì ló wọlé tọ̀ mí wá.

You were asleep when you were born, in my hand, your reflection split into two. The men who were hired to forsake your silence brought drums & took you out to it. I looked back at you interror, swearing by the stars. I said may I not give my knees to your gods, may I not raise you with the salt of my soup .I walked away, hissing at trees. Passing through the slumber of night birds, leaving your gods behind you& sleeping in sand. I spoke only to the roads .I said I refuse to dance in filled market for you, descendants of trees, descendants of my womb. I walked away, hissing at the winds. I walked through years, noises in my ears, one said Tayelolu, the other said Kehide. My foot, bored of dust. My ears, swollen with voices. One said Tayelolu, one said Kehide, two calling me to the wild of my disgust. When I answered& the cockerel crowed at my arrival, the men came to show me your grave.

Deprived 101, Breaking News

The cleaner in blue overall is reading a poem. Yes, at the party, I wasn’t on the music, I left to see someone else who was also focusing on ghosts. Just last night, I took a firefly for a walk, some boys were crying because a hawk refused to fly & you showed me a river, you said water is the most oppressed thing in the world, but how do I solve it when I am the mother of the oceans & the seas?  I stop you from

laughing into my mouth, I know you mean to say that I grow too bored& leave for burgers. I’m no political animal. I already know the senator’s balcony knows no night because the bulbs are playing rival with the moon, but I’m only here to interview. The flood is so heavy, shush! Silence please, I want to concentrate on the people outside. I can hear them, they can’t afford the price of the stars.

I Should Still Be Standing there, Watching The Dress Shops

When I started a life in the university, I ended my life at home. I see bridges & gods & the grocery where rich men riot with the purple scent of arrogance. In Apapa, folk songs pull the car wheels faster than bubbles I blow & pop with the sharp tip of my joblessness. You stop at the bakery to get bread, at 2am, every door in the stores has dissolved into the dark. The child’s mouthpiece ajar like silence, the child is always here, but no one knows where the child has been, asleep, Atinuke says she dreams of places beyond the seas. You tell me that toads are little gods in water, today, I seek where the water lies, I want to know the mouth of a god, I want to know if it’s also filled with the odor of memory. At nineteen, a man carries me over water and my fear drops me into guilt. I like to tell you that I am young, I like to say the stylist still tints my hair with so much gossip in Apapa. My landlady calls me Amebo, meaning every wall in my body has a door.


Born on a Friday in December, Fatihah Quadri Eniola is a young Nigerian poet whose work has been featured in The West Trade Review, Agbowo, The Shore Poetry, Brittle Paper, Poetry Column NND and elsewhere. She is a nyctophobic and an active fellow on