Ba Shi, Ba Shi

Saddiq Dzukogi

Daybreak subsists in his heart,creeps into every corner of the city,dislodges the songs of every household—nothing manifests on his tongue—He resolves to tread the groveand sense what nascent flowers do.The pattern holds all the stories together,a banquet, a field of humid beach stems,his body burning in grief.Ba shi, ba shi, give it to him.In the mirror his face is old, his sadnessevident in the curves and intersections,where wrinkle-lines cross over each otherand he asks what is this ancient planetof streaks and planes where the dead gather.You appear to everyone close to him in dream, but not him.Still, he is rehearsing what to say—

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Saddiq Dzukogi’s poetry collection Your Crib, My Qibla (University of Nebraska Press 2021) was named one of 29 of the best poetry collections by Oprah Daily. His chapbook Inside the Flower Room was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, The Cincinnati Review, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, Oxford Poetry, Poetry Society of America, Prairie Schooner, and other literary journals and magazines. He is a finalist of Brunel International African Poetry Prize and a recipient of fellowships and grants from Nebraska Arts Council, Pen America, Obsidian Foundation, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he is a Ph.D. student and serves as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Prairie Schooner.

"A heartbreaking book of poems, Your Crib, My Qibla journeys through a father's grief after the loss of his beloved daughter. It takes admirable courage and striking language to seek solace after experiencing the unimaginable."
—Rigoberto González, Oprah Daily

"Dzukogi’s Your Crib, My Qibla will join a list of collections by some of the most notable new African voices in the continent and in the diaspora, whose books have been published by the University of Nebraska Press."
—Ernest O. Ogunyemi, Open Country

"In this collection Dzukogi offers an elegy to innocence and to the false security of the living, and yet he demonstrates that the art of lamentation is as forceful an expression of hope as we have available to us. This is a remarkable introduction to a poet for our moment and time."
—Kwame Dawes author of Nebraska: Poems

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