i redeem their emptiness with food – Ismail Yusuf Olumoh.

Image Credit: shortmotivation.com

i redeem their emptiness with food


God indoctrinated me a lesson in the afternoon:

            solve, b + h – w =?  

            that is, boy + hunger… – water =?


            a bridge; underneath, the sleeping boy    unlearned the colour

            of his skin     or hometown & slept       winter’s blanket a faucet:


             ab + h – w =?    that is, [a boy + hunger… – water =?]

            = ab + h – w = q + t

            that is, [a boy + hunger – water = quivering + thirstiness]

        = ab + h – w = q + t ≠ s

        that is, [a boy + hunger – water = quivering + thirstiness ≠ survival]

            ∴ = quietus. 


if no drop of water has danced on the boy’s tongue &    a scalpel hunger  

forgot to collect the cuts on his body before it left          a body trembled

& throat became as arid land    that means, there is no survival  


this evening’s God gave me a test:

            solve, (4b + aw) + (h – w) + (– p) = (p + f) + (h– w)

(four boys + a woman) + (hunger – water) + (– prayer) = (prayer + food) + (happiness – water)


& after solah   i perch to break my fast at sunset & a woman   her skin

the colour of my thin hair     the translucency of running blood in her veins

& her buba garment darting down her shoulders    there is a well beside her

neck digs by hunger      whisks her four children to me    their eyes questing

for home    a means of survival    is there a way?


            [(4b + aw) + (h – w) + (– p) = (p + f) + (h– w)]

            (four boys + a woman) + (hunger – water) + (– prayer) = (prayer + food) + (happiness – water)

            4b + aw + h – w – p = p + f + h – w

            four boys + a woman + hunger – water – prayer = prayer + food + happiness – water

            4b + aw + h – w + w = p + p + f + h

            four boys + a woman + hunger – happiness – water + water = prayer + prayer + food = 

            4b + aw = f + 2p + h

            four boys + a woman = two prayers + food

        ∴ = survival


if a woman & her children whisper few words to the air    speak to an unseen

& their look say bless us & Allah will bless you in soliloquy     let myself be

trimmed to the size of their fabric: their lips like mine    a desert beseeched for

water where there is no peace    only what it takes for a body to listen to its soul   

& then      let every shackle      riven with prayer        means     adhikar will zinge

my tongue     subhannah      i paint their bodies with water & الطعام flourishing their

teeth    alhamdullillahi    their mouths propagating the prayer    happiness neutralise

their munchies      therefore, everything equal to survival    God, i do my best & they

survive      so, فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ:

                                                & which of the favour of your Lordship would deny?

Contributor’s Bio

Ismail Yusuf Olumoh is a Nigerian creative writer and teacher, a poet, a spoken word artist, a graphics designer, a content creator, and a video editor. His works are published and forthcoming in Nanty Greens, Eboquills, Literary Yard, Fevers of the mind, Poemify Publishers, Festival for poetry, De Curated, Synchronized Chaos, Willi Wash, World Planet Anthology, and others. He writes from Ilorin, Kwara State. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading or cooking. He tweets @icreatives0.

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