somewhere in the mind is a mosque.
the adhan is called, believers fall, on all fours
& kettles are scattered, water runs from them into drains,
carrying the sins of a hundred and one men.
a boy rushes in, reaches to scoop this bleach
of an element. he’s scared, his faith’s pendulum
effect turning him, too, into a circle. can i ever be
purged? he asks. another question seeps in after the second
face wipe & he washes thoroughly on the third. iqaamah
is made, his hands are at his feet, his heart, too. steadily,
he proceeds to join a string, connected toe to toe, on the ruku.
alhamdulillah, he whispers, there’s still a chance after all.
in the sitting between sujud, he wonders, thinking
about that incident, carefully shredding the thought,
like a smoked fish being deboned. he’s almost at this
skin, when a takbir turns electric, jolting in him the unexplainable.
how could I be thinking about that? just how?
wa a’la ali ibraheem innaka hameedun majeed, a ritual completed.
he looks inward again. will this pass? will I move through this?
questions still swim. staring in the eyes of a stranger, he sees
the same despair in a different shade. a salam & a smile, he’s given.
he searches for words, for bones, for strength to return this gift.
wa alaikum salam warahmatullah wabarakatuh, he finally offers. for some
reason, a chip falls off his qualms, he feels it. well, seems asr
washed this off a bit, i better make sure to pay maghrib his visit, too,
he concludes. perhaps chances still live after all.
Taiwo Hassan is a writer of Yorùbá descent, a poet and a vocalist. A 2x Best Of The Net Nominee, his poems have appeared in trampset, Kissing Dynamite, Lucent Dreaming, The Shore, Brittle Paper, Dust Poetry Magazine, Ice Floe Press, Wizards In Space and several other places. He’s also an undergraduate student of Demography and Social Statistics at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ilé-Ifẹ̀, Osun State, Nigeria. His debut chapbook, Birds Don’t Fly For Pleasure is published by River Glass Books.