Saturday 24 June 2023

'Beloved, There Is A Song Where The Ocean Meets The Sky' by Tom Okafor

You tell me exhales are ghosts of things past. My eyes are soldered to yours and white-swathed ghosts zephyr from your nostrils. There is a song in your eyes, a palette of notes blending into each other, belting out through two glistening galaxies. The notes litter themselves in my eyes, painting the song therein, such that the echo in your eyes, and all that you hold in your gaze, is chameleoned in mine.

You blabber on, this time speaking of smoke and breeze, how they never agree, how some things can never be. It breaks my heart to think you may be speaking of us. You don’t stop talking. I know what you’re trying to do: to make it easier for me. But, it isn’t working. I yank your gesticulating hands from the air.

“We’re going to die!” I yell.

You cup my face, your warmth vibrates off my cheeks and my belly sings. You tell me it isn’t death, but rebirth. You say they won’t let us live, that the world is fashioned to tear us apart. I have no life without you. You say the same words as soon as I think it. You say it with a dialect of pain transcribed into your eyes, with a pleadingness, a don’t-you-dare-leave-me-ness, and tears cascade your face, plopping into the ocean.

The water is on our shins, the sun sits at the ocean's belly, painting the sky fire and snow. I take your hand, and we walk on.

The ocean gives back what it takes.

Dear Ocean, please, give us back when two boys need not hide to love themselves.

The water is on our thighs now, you say there is a song waiting for us where the ocean kisses the sky, a choir of celestials, proclaiming our love, undying.

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