Faruk Alfe’s She Is My Abiku was shortlisted for the December 2020 Collins Elesiro Literary Prize.

She is a butterfly without wings
Abiku: the storm racing through winds
Maiden, folding herself in the swirl of time
A damsel eating through the walls of my heart.
She took the white paper out of me
And engraved her memory on it

I call her my Abiku but who falls in love
With the dead if they aren’t dead too?
She’s a sunflower, blooming in darkness
A chameleon that has forgotten how
To take backwards steps to its home
Coming & going is what living is to her.

When I smile, it is a sweet memory of her
Of a time she tried to stay with me, forever
Of time I held her and she smelled like me
Of a time I found shelter under her roof
But she picked the fire in her & set it ablaze
Leaving me with ashes of her presence

A stranger will always remain a stranger
Abiku, gone with the shadows of yesterday
Goddess of deception left me hallowed
Crawled out of my eyes, out of my heart
Stepping in & out is not living, dear flower
Your heart is tired, your soul needs a home


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