PAPER BOOTS | MUBARAK SAID

I revved the star-spangled names I carried on my head by giving my
mother a birthday gift, a box of
chocolate, watermelon &a strawberry.
algebraic equations I love to read,
& solving a simultaneous equation
by using a grieving method—a new way
to know that Flower is a county
where all the positive things become
the flood—what pictures in my vision
when someone calls the word love
instead of life.but love is life. and
the first time I breathed to define life,
I opened my chest, closed my eyes and
took my heart away from the sun.
I adored the sky, I rebuilt my abode,
I survived the days in water, I laughed
at the hell and killed my smile with what
reopened the door of pain,
I hang my life on my wall, I become
the morning breeze, I wear paper boots &enter
the cruel night without weighing the
the wickedness of its darkness—
I mean the song that detracts
my body into the blindness, where
all the air fights my bones and eat
my flesh, merciless. I name myself
beautiful, and sprinkle my tears into
a pool—there is a new beginning
in every drop of tears and my life
begin by knowing a rain could
resurrect a new life.

MUBARAK SAID, TPC XII, SprinNG& SAF Alumni, is the winner of the 2023 Bill Ward Prize For Emerging Writers (Prose) and the Threposs poetry contest. He is also the 3rd runner-up in 2022 of the Bill Ward Prize for Emerging Writers (Poetry) and longlisted in Gimba Suleiman Hassan esq poetry prize. He is an editor of the African Literary Summit Anthology, poetry reader at the White Cresset Journal and a guest contributor at Applied worldwide, US. He is a member of Jewel literary and creativity foundation and Hilltop creative arts foundation. His works are forthcoming from and published in; Brittle Paper, Kalahari review, Spillwords, Eboquills, Fevers of the mind, Ghudsavar and elsewhere.

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