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Bowled beads of prayer flow from mother’s hand.  

Before the prayer, the water turns an antiseptic 

milk cloud. I stare at the moon as the water  

flows over my eyes, causing brief losses

—waterfalls of sight—till the prayer is complete.


I beg the fever for my mother’s sake,  

not pain’s dull dance in my head. 

I think of who will pray for her and I beg harder.  

She feels my head and her hand is moist 

from the windless night


and the fever breaks through her, through prayer, through skin.


Ọbáfẹ́mi Thanni is a genre-bending writer whose poetry was shortlisted for the 2019 Christopher Okigbo Poetry Prize. He is a reader at The Masters Review and is currently making attempts at beauty while applying for a citizenship in Lucille.

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