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Friday Feature: Rahma O. Jimoh


Rahma O. Jimoh (she/her) is from Ogun state, Nigeria. She was a winner of the Poetry Translation, Lagos-London competition ‘22 and a runner-up in the Abubakar Gimba short story prize ‘21. A fellow in the Undertow Writing workshop, she has been published or has works forthcoming in Salt Hill Journal, Ake Review, Parentheses Art, Agbowo, Tinderbox Poetry, Lucent Dreaming, Feral, Isele Magazine, Tab Journal & others. She was a mentor in the 2023 SpringNg writing fellowship, she edits poetry at Olumo Review and is a prose reader at Chestnut Review. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.




Hysteria

for aunt S


who wears her clothes inside out. she laughs longer than necessary because laughter knows the length

and breadth of her void, the square root of her pain—a hysterical cloud burst, wild as madness. her

cheekbones are high, curved from burying her twins. it takes over her. goes through her womb. over

her mind, engulfs everything she lived for. her laughter is a facade. deceiving. burying everything that

cannot be planted. the drugs won't work to shift her mind back. the prayers have not delivered her

mind to its rightful space. what can prayers do to a mind ridden with grief? what miracle can prayers

orchestrate to a mind that has run out of believing? only the sight of a baby is an amen to her

healing—returns her for a fleeting second. her mouth breaks into hysteria again. she sees her twins in

every baby. but not long enough. not long enough to shift her mind back to its rightful box. a baby

wails, it breaks my aunt. it breaks her mind. breaks her legs into a splint. she shovels the earth as if to

dig out her sanity; to dig out her grief; to dig out what was long gone; to dig out the leftovers of their

memories—



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Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.

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