Her cold hand on my shoulder
reminds me of Christmas morning in Soweto,
like the ocean pulling the surfer deep into its belly
she pulls me close to her perfumed breath
which I must not inhale or suck in, or be hung

by the statute that calls black love evil.

But she is the city built on shooting stars
& I am the wing she weaved to fly
when there was no more moonlight.

Like the railroads lined across from where
people welcome death with palm wine,
my white lover drinks my heart out speedily

caring less about the clock that no longer ticks
slowly for me; even my wild dream could not roam free
it laid awake at the doorstep of her tongue
as if the very earth into which we soak our pubescent feet
would be too scared to soon scream “stop” in

both our ears. My eyes locked under a pair of sunglasses

to prevent a people holding the truncheon up to the sky
from seeing the tears of “I’m ready to die” welling up
soon would close to the closing hymn of her goodbyes.

By Bola Opaleke


Bola is a Nigerian-Canadian poet residing in Winnipeg, MB. His poems have appeared or forthcoming in a few poetry magazines like Rattle, Cleaver, One, The Nottingham Review, The Puritan, The Literary Review of Canada, Sierra Nevada Review, Dissident Voice, Poetry Quarterly, The Indianapolis Review, Miracle E-Zine, Poetry Pacific, Drunk Monkeys, League of Canadian Poets (Poetry Month 2013), St. Peters College(University of Saskatchewan) Anthology (Society 2013 Vol. 10), Pastiche Magazine, and others. He holds a degree in City Planning.

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