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.