Poetry: STUDYING THE WORLD by Pamilerin Jacob

Pamilerin Jacob is a poet of density, imagery stacked and tactile and bouncing into your ankles—their latest, “STUDYING THE WORLD,” gives to us a speaker wrestling with understanding itself, seeking the joy of knowing without the burden of outcome.


Motes tumble in the air frenzied like tadpoles
breaking out of egg-dark
into the liberty of flowing water.
Sunlight sticks to clothes & will not wash off.

The afternoon grows, whispering into tree trunks
the exactness of their sway. We stood in a room
like this one, debating the path dew takes
back to the sky. Whether it grows more invisible

at each increment of light, or some god sucks
it up through a straw. It is possible we were happy
studying the world, not in pursuit of wisdom,

but liberation. Eventually, the digging spade hit a slab
& bounced into the ankle. O, the bonefield we found.
The multitude of veins carrying blood & malice.

Pamilerin Jacob

Pamilerin Jacob is a poet & editor whose poems have appeared/forthcoming in POETRY, Lolwe, The Rumpus, Agbowó, Palette, 20.35 Africa, and elsewhere. He is the curator of Poetry Column-NND.

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