Taofeek Ayeyemi

  1. What do we call a moon that hit the sun

in the face at the hour of eight in the morning?


Ans. An egg doesn’t just get black /

A cowry doesn’t just get brown / Honey


doesn’t just get bitter. My smile is

a window into a room of grief,


into the mouth of a bat/owl

calling out on a miracle – Day Moon.


I gather forty-one stones and

lynch them against the sky as if to


create a hole so father may fall back

into my world, into my dreams.


This poem is the handle of a torchlight

searching for father’s voice.


I spent the wee hour of the day

undoing his demise, imagining


the shape of his smile and tracing

out his lips on the tiles of his grave:


I saw a moon. I saw a sun gazed at

through the body of a gentle water.


  1. When a mirror gets broken, its pieces are usable.

But how do we ditch an earthed mirror?


Ans. I hold the handle of father’s door

and pour into a room filled with solitude.


The sharpness of horns from fleeting cars

keep breaking the silence, intermittently.


Let’s make an assumption that a car

is bringing him back to life.


Let’s make an assumption that he would

answer to greetings rendered beside


his grave / inside his room.

Let’s make an assumption of recreating


him into existence; start with his smile,

start with writing out his litanies, start


with his lullabies for his thirty-year old

son, start with the prologue to his


stories, tales and folklores, start

with reassembling his rosaries


on his praying mat. Wear his cap and

jalbab – write “father” on its sleeves.


Taofeek Ayeyemi (fondly called Aswagaawy) is a Nigerian lawyer and writer. His works have appeared or forthcoming in Lucent Dreaming, Ethel-zine, The Pangolin Review, The Banyan Review, the QuillS, Modern Haiku, Akitsu Quarterly,  contemporary haibun online and elsewhere. He won Honorable Mention Prize in 2020 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest, 2019 Morioka International Haiku Contest and 2nd Prize in 2016 Christopher Okigbo Poetry Prize.