Poetry by F. Joshua

Flourish Joshua, Frontier XX, is a Nigerian poet, writer, linguist, and literary editor. He is the winner of the 2021 Salt Nation Poetry Prize, and the 2021 Young Writers and Creatives Award (Poetry Category). He is the Founding/Poetry Editor at Olúmọ Review, Associate Poetry Editor at miniskirt magazine & a Best of the Net nominee.

Spring, Hope, Finesse
for Kẹ́mi.

It is Spring now, and I am happy
the way a beggar’s bowl joys at
a miracle tip. On a day like today,
I can call Spring by the name of

the woman whose breasts are water-
falls of mercy. I can forget my body
inside her temple as a living sacrifice,
ho[e]ly, acceptable. I can t[h]rust my joy

for the miracles in the valley between
her thighs, let me taste heaven anew.
It is Spring now, and I am happy
the way your bellyworms leap

at the sight of your gluttony. In my
sleep, tonight, I will refuge inside
the shadow of my lover’s name if
my dreams morph into a haunter.

What is life if not my lover as life-jacket
for all of my drowning?—The river,
respectful of the safety her name
commands. Gravity; lame, clueless.

It is Spring now, and I am happy
the way our longings laugh
when we fall prey to them. I yawn,
& hope spills, floods the room with all

of its light. Kẹ́mi, say my name
when you mean to call joy; my name
when you mean to scream

w n e
o d r.

water, gongs, echo
for Kẹ́mi.

& the river asked
after you, with a voice thin as air;

the rain asked after you,
with a mouth the tenderness of spring—


we forgot our sanity in the corners of your eyes
they night you came for cleansing, they say.


what is my lover’s smile that the sea
is mindful of?


I hear the majestic voice of bald gongs
echo in the distance—

look, my lover’s name in their tongue,
what manner of love is this?


blue boy, empty your hand of all
its summer, point me the road that bare
the prints of my lover’s foot.

From the Editor:

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)

In Parentheses Magazine (Fall 2020)

By In Parentheses in Volume 6

80 pages, published 10/15/2020

The FALL 2020 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 6, Issue 2)
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