along the coasts of Northern Africa

On the fortnight of your return,
they would bunch around the evening fire
to learn of your resurrection: the unhallowed season
of the sea, the throes, the convention of birds
on the route where the smugglers
joined you to a truck towards the waters;
and the sovereignty of dust in half-empty towns,
past the caves and their autonomy of green–
foliages retelling parables of no return.
How the sea beyond keeps no record
of the drowned and those it washed ashore,
how you, too, are a Lazarus of the Nile.

About the Author

‘Gbenga Adeoba is a graduate fellow at the University of Iowa. Born in Nigeria, he has published work in Oxford PoetryPleiadesSalamanderPoet Lore, African American ReviewPrairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He is the author of the chapbook “Here Is Water,” included in New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Sita), and his full-length debut, Exodus won the 2018 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry.