Two Poems

Homeland of Mullahs

Where I come from, they say, is far from hell 

& close to heaven. Always, we affix “fa” to 

our sentences like grease added to the gear 

of a grinding machine. I carry my homeland 

wherever I go. It shows and scents on my clothes. 

Yesterday at the market, without telling her, a woman 

said to me “ìlú àwọn alfa loti wá (you come from 

the homeland of Mullahs).” I nodded in concordance. 

She said: where the recitation of the Qur’an is 

your favorite melody, where people drink 

pastel-brown pap early in the morning and you eat 

amala with bean stew and spinach. Where the soundscape 

of adhan is the alarm that wakes you every morning. 

Your hands are friends with prayer beads. Where jalabiya, 

keffiyeh and turban are popular fellows in your wardrobe. 

Your monarch is called Emir & he rides a horse on Durbar 

Day despite having cars. Where people weave tapestry 

into money. The loom makes beat, tap-tap-tap for the ear 

of the environment. Where kuli-kuli is one of your snacks. 

Where children hawk beske. And there are many minarets 

to serve as landmarks. Where—

“How do you know all of these?” I interrupted,

“Because that’s also where I am from,” she replied. 

theology of love 

i do not want to bother you with my sermon 

on the metaphor: God is love, love is God    but 

i must confess your smile has been intoxicating 

me and i’m not the type to find with opium

or a bottle of alcohol — the Qur’an has warned 

vehemently against that but to be drunk in love is 

what i find no warning against      i’ve been thinking 

about how love itself is an act of worship,     how 

the scripture has been saying love your neighbor 

as yourself    i’ve been thinking about how God 

himself is a boundless volume of love like air    so when 

he removed that rib from Adam to make Eve i guess he 

also sliced his heart into two and placed one in her —

a single heart in two persons.


*Photo by Ambitious Studio* – Rick Barrett on Unsplash.

Abdullah O. Jimoh
Abdullah O. Jimoh (he/him) is a linguist and poet from Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Acedia Journal, South Florida Poetry Journal, Modern Poetry in Translation, A Long House, Mudroom, Sky Island, Tint Journal, Gyroscope review, Efiko Magazine, The Shallow Tales Review, Afritondo and elsewhere.