x as symbol for all things lost By Abdulbaseet Yusuff

x as symbol for all things lost

all that we cannot explain, we name x
x is what i call a friendship as old as yellowed letters
& as distant as two atlantics

there are distances even telegrams can’t bridge

when you move back into the city years later,
we meet at a park
& sit by the fountain. x sits with us too
x, now, is a silence stretched taut by cobwebs

i ask “how did we lose contacts?” you say “life!”
x again

we watch our sons mould a friendship in sandcastles
& in them, we see ourselves in elementary,
kicking mangoes eaten inside out by bats, laughing
& promising to build our houses side by side

i ask why you shaved your head
you reply by saying i have gained weight

weeks later, i hear from your wife that you died
of cancer; that you had been battling it
i am ashamed that i didn’t know of it
after the funeral, she gives me an old photograph
of you and some friends
she assumes i’m in it, but i am not.
i cut off your part of the picture &
i put you in my breast pocket

x is two lines — two friends — with a brief intersection
& a lengthy divergence

By Abdulbaseet Yusuff

Biography:

Author_Photo_Abdulbaseet Yusuff

 

Abdulbaseet Yusuff is a Nigerian writer whose works have appeared in Brittle Paper, African Writer, Praxis Magazine Online, and Memento: An Anthology Of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry (Animal Heart Press, 2020.)

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