By Boloere Seibidor
I hear that the salinity of the dead sea is so high that it is lethal. on meia praia,
families anchor beneath supersized umbrellas. the little children run around,
looking back to see if the waves mop away their footprints —of course
it does. does it want to remember you? even the beach knows the pain
that shadows recollection. beside a local gin vendor, native music beats from
the radio of an old Mallam roasting suya & smiling broadly—teeth a dirty
golden brown. tourists are spellbound by every beauty; they photograph each scene
as though they would return to the place carpeted in dust, or peeled off from existence.
an oldie tells a story, & is made the central attention of folks entranced, hands
weighing their jaws. I imagine it’s a tale I’ve heard before
& nothing arouses me.
a blue quail breaks out of its cage, perches at my feet buried deep in white sand.
abruptly alive, I sprinkle a meal of soft-boiled corn & it kisses my throat with a song.
by sunset, I, too, radiate. by the ocean’s foot, where lovers plant promises & water them
with smiles; they drink wine & trace it off each other’s tongues; dance to afro-pop
till their bodies are pearled in sweat. at the beach house is where I stay, watching without
hands to enlace mine. I smoke, drown endless bottles of beer in my throat,
& wait for my feet to grow tiny wings. another man, high like me, also, is drawn
by the glinting lights of the cabin. finds me lightheaded & pretty, or not, pushes his tongue
down my throat. on it, I taste the bittersweet brashness of gin mingled with the saltiness
of the ocean. & I think of a bird drowning; of a child unfound; of a river consuming everything
that consumes it. even I have little rivers in my body that men have wandered into & were
never seen again.
again, I say, the salinity of the dead sea is so high that it is lethal; every other man is a river
I penetrate & resurface alive, ready for a different sorrow. I remember the warmth of
your body before the river stole it, returned you 3 days later, cold as the air that girdles a grave.
your family yielded you to ash in a rite of cremation. tourists find the beach house
& take photos of it like they take of everything else. I cannot understand why anyone would
desire the burden of remembrance. I close my eyes & it transposes into a gallery, reeling images
I am ripping them out
angrily. wash with salt for total cleanliness, mother says, when she
unloads foodstuff in a basin. next time, I will capsize into the dead sea
to acclaim wholeness again.
To My Creator Who Created A Rebellion
By Boloere Seibidor
I'm sorry I do not believe in God. fuck your faith & teaching—I’ve been fucked too. & an anger—call it what you may; lunacy, barbarity—ripens daily inside me, nearer to ungodliness. each month, a wound uncloses in my vagina, splurges blood, hope to atone that which was lost on calvary. I do not want to be indebted to you. not being indebted would mean that I can enlace with smoke from a joint, jet like a baby canary, above the paws of anxiety. riddle me this: a gardenia unveils [your] beauty, but weed is sin? why is temptation a scale for weighing my faith? you know I would fall. [I want] to lay beneath another & not brandish the devil’s name; to spin my hair into gold & not be called the daughter of Jezebel—my mother’s name is Juliana. say, you forgot this air in my lungs and it is the only reason I am here. I do not want to be called an ingrate for not valuing your forgetfulness. I know I said I do not believe in you; but God, take away this bitterness that morphs daylight to dusk away from me. take away this anger & this rebellion—my body is not a dumpsite. once I’ve bedded scriptures in the humus of my mouth, waited for them to flutter miracles. but the only thing that grew was a desert in the belly of a sea. in church, my skirt hangs above my knees. the deacon believes I’m satan’s pawn & suggests a private session of deliverance, his eyes fishing beneath my blouse. how do I believe in a God whose men insult him so vilely, so fluently?
a poetry cover or review for a Dan Seals song
(read left column as song lyrics & right column as poetic translation)
By Boloere Seibidor
Boloere Seibidor is an African poet & writer, with works on numerous magazines/journals, which include IceFloe, Crepe and Penn, Neologism, amongst others. She won the Glassdoor Poetically Written Prose Contest 2020. Often, she is found googling cures for anxiety or obsessing over Ed Sheeran's colourful tattoos. She tweets @ boloere_sod