Haven Spec current issue



By Sodïq Oyèkànmí in Issue Ten, August 2023

for Yemọja

my mother keeps track of time by how much rain falls
heavenwards. i know it is night because there’s a torrent
& the grim reaper blades through the whirl. it is night.
my mother stands at the threshold with a switchblade—
no match for the reaper’s scythe
but sharp & bold enough to sl/ash every bubble
of tiny deaths—wafting through the universe.

i am twenty two years old—young & smart.
i know how to hold my breath through the night—
it is a rite—to save myself from the stench of death.

we count the decades by the silence between each harvest
of souls to the multiverse of blankness.

in a dream where i slither into an alternate universe—
a merboy with a face as mine begs me
for something in a language i do not understand—
he tries to explain to me in hieroglyphs

& i place my mouth on one of the images—shaped
like a scythe—only to wormhole into another dream
within a dream within a dream within a blur.

my mother keeps track of time by how much rain falls
heavenwards. it is morning. the dews drift in light showers
& there’s a song dripping from my mother’s mouth—

sweet & sonorous—to make my body shake
–free from the fogginess of fear & take a dip into nirvana.

*Yemọja is a Yorùbá deity celebrated as the giver of life and as the metaphysical mother of all orishas (deities) within the spiritual pantheon.

© 2023 Sodïq Oyèkànmí

Sodïq Oyèkànmí

Sodïq Oyèkànmí holds a B.A in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his works have been published/is forthcoming in Passages North, Poetry Wales, Lucent Dreaming, Strange Horizons, and North Dakota Quaterly. A 2022/23 Poetry Translation Centre UNDERTOW cohort, he won the 2022 Lagos/London Poetry Competition.

Poetry by Sodïq Oyèkànmí
  • scythe