Mubarak Said‘s poem: A wingless butterfly is an antonym to a snail.

It is written, on the forehead of the sky, 

that any child without a theory of flowers 

would Someday mourn the moon of its vastness.

The day my body teleported us 

to my father’s hometown, 

we witnessed the pregnant butterfly 

bloom into a basket of flowers 

with every vegetative part slowly fading into exile,

fading into scrapped blocks of a kingdom—where 

kings were turbaned with a garment made of lies.

There is a day in the cycle of the year 

where fire strikes the wall of men's face, 

the day that memories used to fly into the sky; 

the beacon of light spills the beans 

of our growth—perhaps 

this is the way men managed to nurture wings.

Over here, the eye that doesn’t see is the eye 

that refuses to be fed light. 

Whenever the wind sways 

before the curtain of our faces, 

note; fingers become lines of latitude 

running across our longitudinal bodies.

here, with our hands we slaughter the sky, 

& with our mouths we lick the blood 

of the moon—so, tell me, 

Is there a better way to mourn the madness we've grown to enjoy playing?

Mubarak Said is the 3rd runner-up of the poetry category of the 2022 Bill Ward Prize for Emerging Writers. He is a member of Gombe jewel writers association and Hilltop creative arts foundation. His works are forthcoming and published in many literary magazines local and international as World Voices Magazine, Icefloe Press, Literary yard, Beatnik Cowboy, Teen Literary Journal, ILA magazine, the yellow magazine, Pine Cone Review, Synchronized chaos, Susa Africa, Applied Worldwide, Opinion Nigeria, Today Post, Daily Trust, Daily Companion and elsewhere.

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