Taofeek Ayeyemi


life is a theme in poems
but today, let it be the perforated paper
carrying a letter to mathematicians –
they are gods who have life’s
meaning on their tongues,
and whenever they leave their jaws loose,
answers fly like birds
carrying square roots on their wings;
& i am a seeker – whose tongue
is flattened into a question paper
finding solution to how we became ashes
mixed with dust on a land that bred us.

they opened the paper
and found my question:

how do plus and minus (±) happen
to life at the same time?

if √mother + √father = me
life – friends² × (⅔) = x

find x.

Taofeek Ayeyemi fondly called Aswagaawy is a Nigerian lawyer and writer. His works are featured in The Quills, Kalahari Review, Nthanda Review, Tuck Magazine, Akitsu Quarterly, Modern Haiku, Prune Juice, Frogpond, Cattails, Seashores and elsewhere. He won the 2018 PoeticWednesday Poetry Contest, Second Prize 2016 Christopher Okigbo Poetry Prize and Honorable Mention Prize in the 1st Morioka International Haiku Contest, 2019 among others.

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