Tuesday Poem Special by Peter Akinlabi

by Dami Ajayi

The Arcades

(For Liz, whose botanical name I now forget)

 

She’s petite and had a braid.

I am Pete, I said.

We walked through the arcades;

the trees swayed. And silence,

hand-in-hand with intentions, walked ahead.

 

The harmattan wove its webs and sutures,

cold, like that, is kind to young loves.

Birds sang on the trees, dropping hints

into silence. I sought something to lay

the freeze bare for clarity

 

Sidestepping love’s essential gothicism,

I tossed the coin:

I confess, like a true poet, that I am

only broken

by the sources of things.

Throbbing. Hands. we looked in each other’s lattices.

All sextoned, she rent the gag,

wiping incredulity with a Shakespearean rag.

 

And Parting time like a bar-room curtain

we recreated a mythology of the garden.

 

We floated through the arcades, acrobats-on -stilts

looking for botanic roots of things,

bodies, luminous and riverine,

parsing things lustrous and serpentine,

we coursed towards the source of moist.

 

__________

Peter Akinlabi’s poetry collection, Iconography, is out now.

 

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