my father taught
me how to make
songs out of grief.
he would say:
the source of pangs
are one & same with joy
let your perspective
illume your choice
& we would
pack our throes
in bags of songs,
walk to the market
smeared with the
scent of tulips & lavender
& barter molecules
of our tears
for God’s own laughter




a black Sudanese kid drowning
in the largeness of his pants
weaves a basket of history
with the facial hair of his ancestors
just to make ends meet.
while a group of tourists take photographs of him,
soldering them to words. their intentions scorch
like vapors of boiling water

AJISE VINCENT is an economist and social researcher based in Sokoto, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming at The Bond Street Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Jawline Review, Jalada, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Chiron Review, Asian Signature, Ann Arbor Review, Yellow Chair Review, Bombay Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Snapdragon: a journal of art & healing, The Cadaverine, Souvenir literary journal, Saraba, Elsewhere, Sentinel Quarterly & various literary outlets. He is a recipient of the Eriata Oribhabor poetry prize 2015.