Poetry: Quilox by Muiz Opeyemi Ajayi
Electric, “Quilox” is bent to the confines of its form just as this moment is bent to the confines of the night, the poem’s abrupt enjambments a reminder that day will interrupt the charged “light of the dark/-ness.” This is a rich poem, a poem that asks us to feel its music.
the music, black & steep as our waters,
keeps us afloat. at quilox, in light of the dark
-ness we become dancing constellations
glitzing across rooms, more body than ether.
flesh & bones outliving air. a testament
to the cruelty of night. mock lime glasses over
tequila shots. i begin to ask this bae, body
of stars, lighting up the night & dancefloor, why
she looks so familiar. & she whispers over
noir club music e fit be say we don yab awasef
inside gbagada bus before, na why. much
later when we kiss deep into midnight, we’ll un-
drown our fears in the present. conscious
we needn’t exchange contacts. conscious we need
n’t call or text afterwards. conscious we’re
both vagabonds in some victoria island club’s dark
light. content in watching the grey moment
undress. before daylight once again unsheathes its
-elf like a double edged sword, sworn to break.
Muiz Opeyemi Ajayi
Muiz Opeyemi Ajayi studies Law at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He's an editor at The Nigeria Review, featuring/forthcoming on Poetry Wales, Frontier Poetry, Nigerian NewsDirect, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Brittle Paper, San Pedro River Review, Blue Marble Review, Rough Cut Press, Aurora Journal, Trampset, and elsewhere. He's a 2021 ARTmosterrific Writer-in-Residence. He was second runner-up in the 2021 PROFWIC Poetry Prize, and a BKPW Poetry Contest second runner-up.