SUMMER LOVE By Bryan Joe Okwesili


This is how a heart breaks twice,
this feeling of being utterly lost.
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Try to breathe. Again.
Then, find yourself.

Smash the camera against the wall.
Regret nothing but its silver frame, the colour
of the sky when you first kissed him in Rio
behind erect dreadlocked palms.
Before your mirror, pule your eyelids to the sides.
You know you are lost.

He is smiling in your camera.
You are smiling beside him.
Two men exchanging their hearts in
a flash of whiteness.
See, love is solely made for pictures.

Recall the absence in your bed.
The smoothened space where he once buried you
and took your name under the moon.
Take the thought of his moans in your hands,
his waist searching for fire in your body.
Feel the flames fill your loins.
Feel yourself longing to burn. Again.

Reread his text, slowly, cold in uncertainty.
In your head, erase the words ‘sorry’ and ‘love’.
Do not say it is a semiformal letter until you bath
and can’t recall where he tattooed his lust.
It is how to feign baptism; to be anew in thought.

By Bryan Joe Okwesili


Bryan Joe Okwesili is a queer Nigerian storyteller and poet keen on telling diverse African queer stories. He is a 2020 Pushcart norminee (SmokeLong Quarterly). His works appear and are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, SLICE mag, Shift Mag, Foglifter Press, Brittle Paper, Praxis Magazine, Afritondo, Ghost City Press, Cypress, Shallow Tales Review, Lunaris, Kalahari Review, and elsewere. He is currently a student of Law at the University of Calabar.

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