“to find a partner and sway
Because how else does a body survive water before rescue?“- Salam Wosu, Elegy for the
need to Sway
And they wonder why I will never want this kind of air, this place
That tells me what I’ve always known. It’s a fine line
Between standing tall and writhing painfully from right to left
Stroking the fine ash that pirouettes from the remains of a dream. But no, no sad poetry-
This is the poem that runs into dark wine at my word/ for what are words, if you do not own their
power?/when they throw you up, dashing your foot against a stone?
I drink, and everything that was love will look like two eyes locking and two pairs of eyes that
In an embrace, in this sudden magic wielding I have found another body that will be a raft at
sea/ on the stage of our hearts we are the heroes, coins that will never flip for any fate but ours.
But we float away again
Another raft splinters away from my weight another stiffens at the curdling cold another does not
The ghosts laughing eerily out of my stories. But no, no sad poetry- only the ones that can fight
I float to the light at the end of this outlet but
I know/ I will claim the light will be too bright/ I will claim that the land is too sturdy/so I will
wait/wait and wait/wait and wait/take and take/any raft floating on the same journey because
how else does a body survive water before rescue?
Adeshi Onani is a Nigerian Poet, Freelance Writer, and Educational Instructor. Her works have
been published in Kalahari Review, Salamander Ink Magazine, and Knights Library Magazine.
When she is not writing, reading, or teaching, she can be found swaying to music, laughing
heartily with her students, or daydreaming about all the places she wants to go. She lives in
Lagos, Nigeria. Find her on Facebook: Adeshi Onani, and Twitter @DeshiOnani.