Zaynab Bobi

This is how we live with a keloid of gunshot. 

the grasses are dead.

                                  the birds are mute. 

the sky is barren. 

                                   the sun is dim. 

how can’t i say goodbye 
when my motherland train my tongue
to devour consonants of hell(o) as hello?
& when my mouth kept spilling happiness backward, they said i wasn’t shattered enough to understand the vocabulary of living. so i was broken into pieces of tasteless names—a way of counting how many gallons of saltwater will decolourize the red sea
where our bodies inhabit daily. 

the grasses are dead. 

                                   the birds are mute. 

the sky is barren. 

                               the sun is dim

& this poem isn’t a poem but a keloid from beneath the bullet banquet. 


We are more poem than the poems we write

i name a star after the dead leaves
that always find a way to infiltrate
my sleep & all the time
i end up barfing them out 
& like a lover yearning for affection
they lie beside me & dream me back 
to sleep    back to their misery

news headlines: over 60 people killed

albeit, their limbs look too feeble
to swim out of the 60% water their bodies amass,
they ended up swimming in a puddle of blood
this is to say, no one should leave the house
without wearing bulletproof
like how i wore mine while writing this poem
because i don’t know when the rain will pour
& make my body a hostess of a bullet feast. 



if you place a section of your heart 
under the microscope
you will find grief 
dining on the oxygen at the aorta;
depriving the body of a way to breathe. 
now, tell me, 
is grief not another name 
for wickedness?

  “…the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon themselves and…”

God, let this body be exempted from this punishment. 


A poem where action and reaction of Newton’s third law of motion are unequal and opposite

Newton’s third law said:
“action and reaction are equal and opposite.” 

you recalled how your father’s love & compassion for his country made him re-grew the voice that sprung peaceful petals, that were plugged by people with grey words. & this was his actions. 

they say:    
great action attracts great reward      

but he attracted three holes to his chest. or is war(red) the opposite pole of reward?
this was their reaction; remodeling his body into an archive of tripartite holes that yawn to be filled when he came into your dream
on the nights you picked out the stars
from the barren sky

action & reaction are opposite. 

which is to say, your father and the grey word(ers) are opposite. proved
action & reaction aren’t equal

because your father’s voice has swelled to a garden of flowers that don’t need foulsynthesis to bloom. &
birds will dance on the petals. & we will dance on a clean street. & birds will feed on their nectar. & we will drink from a clean cup until we coexist & push the darkness away from home. 
the father is the body that slumped unannounced, the birds are metaphors of hope & the grey word(ers) are wanderers in the pages of deception. 

© Zaynab Bobi

Zaynab Bobi, Frontier I, is a Nigerian poet, digital artist and photographer from Bobi. She is a finalist of the voice of peace anthology, member of Hilltop Creative Art Abuja, Poetry Club Udus, Frontier Collective, and a Medical Laboratory Science student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. Her poems are published and forthcoming in PraxisMag, Paddler Press, Tilted House Magazine, Ice Floe Press, Lunaris Review, Rigorous Magazine, Olit Magazine, The Shallow Tales Review, and more. She tweets @ZainabBobi.

Back to Main Loch Raven Review Site