sorrowful black woman crying in light room


by Fadairo Tesleem

For the first time, father told me of

the grief that discolored our walls. How

a river of aggressive velocity swallowed

his beloved. But, tell me, how do I approach

a river & fight it for eating up my mother’s feet

when it isn’t the same water that was there yesterday?


Since then, I’d visit river Asa,

sit at its temperamental area &

place my ears across the

river & against its bank, awaiting

mother to speak to me in any form; as a

stormy wave, as a fish, or a mermaid.

I want to kneel beside my

mother’s grave, rearrange the pebbles on it,

like every motherless boy would do.

But, this is me, visiting & revisiting

river Asa every night, beseeching each

wave to vomit my mother’s remnant.


Fadairo Tesleem is a young Nigerian poet from Ilorin, Kwara state. He is a teacher, a poetry coach and a literary critic. Tesleem is a final year student of “Kamal school of Arabic & Islamic studies” Ilorin, Kwara state. He is a member of Hill-Tip creative art foundation, Kwara state branch, and the “Association Of Nigerian Authors” ANA, Osun state branch.

His poems are published or forthcoming in Fiery scribe review, Pangolin Review, Queer Toronto literary magazine, Arts lounge, Best of Africa, Blue Minaret, Down in the dirt, Ninshãr arts, Blue pepper, Upwrite magazine, Inverse journal, Eremite poetry & a host of other publications. 

He tweets @Olakunle.



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