After Ocean Vuong’s Seventh Circle of Earth
& we could be two girl lovers, knotted in our belief that harm
doesn’t come to love, until it does, and my name becomes
a thing you tell others you will always miss, like Christmas.
A little soberness should remind us the truth; that we
are so drunk in this play, we forget our lines do not meet,
should not meet, in this way.
Do you ever laugh at how easily we can wear
a mask and become normal girls? How we feed the boys
deceit sandwiched in smokescreen?
But you must loathe how quickly your body could
be a synonym for Sodom. You must not like that you have
to hide yourself to live, and live to hide.
Gunshots sound better in video games; that way, you do
not have to imagine how the queer body sprawled in the news,
leaking of life, and warmth;
You do not have to fold in my arms and ask why this
love is suddenly tightened around your neck?
Bryan Obinna Joseph Okwesili is a queer Nigerian poet and storyteller, keen on telling diverse African queer stories. His works explore the interiority and tensions of queerness in a heteronormative culture in which he imagines a world of inclusivity. He is a 2020 Pushcart norminee (SmokeLong Quarterly) and a Finalist for Tupelo Quarterly Open Fiction Prize. His works appear and are forthcoming in Craft, SmokeLong Quarterly, Slice mag, Isele, Foglifter Press, Tupelo Quarterly, Brittle Paper, Rising Phoenix Review, Ghost City Review, Cypress, Shallow Tales Review, and elsewere. He is currently a student of Law at the University of Calabar, Calabar.