Boat With No Oar

by Nkateko Masinga

I circled your bed at midnight
chanting love me,
then made your silence my poison
& died

& still didn’t have you 
in the brief, bitter afterlife 
that ensued

imagine this wasn’t a dream

would you wake up
and wade to sea 
with my soul?

would you remember me?

broken boat
witch with no coven 
& no spell book

voyeur at your bedside 

cast a shadow over your name
and let me live there

consummate our love posthumously

throw a net over my apparition – 
I’d do anything not to fall, unheld

swim back to the shore 
alone, boat with no oar

save a jilted ghost 
with waves for a dress,

dead but 
still desperate 
for your affection

the waves change course

you wake up with my name 
seated at its throne, 
your tongue
which is to say
you are home now
i will no longer beg for what is mine

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