You Make Dreams Stay

quiet in a shower-glass
part of what has been created
with the same delicate touch
a child creates a paper boat

as much as the ship on the sea
if his cupped palms have water

it can float.

but your eyes search for dreams
bigger than a god —
your speech is your fire
and the earth
needs a voice to become a peach.
you can feel your thoughts
as pots on a shelf.
but like hallucinations
— they are not yours.


Another Clock

a cock is before my window;
frozen like a clock

with dead cells
observing passage
as another clock–
fingers switching between marks

everything comes to dissolve

before my eyes
& there is a collective colour to things

darkness too is a window
a seepage beating against the bones of things
everyone has scarecrows
they say the clock makes them for all of us

the last time I tried to speak to mine
they hid their faces inside a cup of coffee
the person who drank it
knew all of my soul.


Open an Ocean

open the idiom
on my tongue
there are 32 verbs locked

inside a mouth craving for a bone
to open like an eye the inn invites aspects —violet
is also a language like water

like lemon grass

—open an ocean

in your cellar

a word is a fish with voices

moving the blues



oysters opened my wound

like onion

each layer renews a pain
I had lost to the clock


on a bedroom wall


every morning

will upset my dream

I can easily quote what silence said

when she fed me oysters

and broke my heart

I pressed my ear against one — but no voice

I know it is a hamlet that likes the news

only to its owner

and when I came before a mirror

it asked me about oysters

once I had felt like a songbird
but the taste of grief clipped
my wings


my dream

is a room I cannot stay in


Saddiq Dzukogi

Saddiq Dzukogi

Saddiq Dzukogi studied at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He has poems featured or forthcoming in literary publications such as: Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Juked, Cleaver Magazine, Chiron Review, Vinyl Poetry, The Volta, Yellow Chair Review, The Poetry Mail, The Blue Lotus Art Journal, Grey Sparrow, among numerous others. He is the Poetry Editor of the online journal, Expound. Has received a Pushcart Prize Nomination and was twice finalist in The Association of Nigerian Author’s Poetry Prize.