Zaynab Bobi

Cyborg attending mermaid festival without inserting a breathing language

yes, my bones raced 
the ocean tides to a mermaid 
festival. yes, i activated 
the swimming tools; 
sniffing autocorrected 
to sinking. 
instruction: shutdown 
to deactivate lungs.
then, wake up to gills 
under your ribs. 
prosthetist, you inserted 
suffocating button 
instead of surfing. 
scientist, i crashed 
when the ocean hosted 
a bloodbath. the truth is: 
my eyes water the sky
whenever i restart. 
it’s the third night
the moon is drowning 
in my mouth.
& you’re floating in your bones.
gravity hasn’t found you yet.
beloved bion, you need
help to shut down.


Zaynab Bobi, Frontier I, is a Nigerian poet, digital artist and photographer from Bobi. She is a member of Hilltop Creative Art Abuja, and a Medical Laboratory Science student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. Her poems are published and forthcoming in Kalahari Review, Isele Review, Asterlit, Paddler Press, Olney Magazine, Ice Floe Press, Lunaris Review, Rigorous Magazine, Olit Magazine, TST Review, and elsewhere. She tweets @ZainabBobi.