SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #15     FEBRUARY 2004

LOLA SHONEYIN

TRYSEXUAL

There's a key in my closet door,
a woman in my room

reading her palm.

Outside, a whirlwind welcomes rain
to her parched fiesta.
Empty cans and bottles spin
into a waltz; she twirls on tiptoes
as sugarcane husks swing
from the hem of her skirt.

The woman on my bed
divines ways to seduce me.
She tells me about the hole
in the half-life I'm living,
reaches up to touch my hair.
I don't let her,
stroke her back instead.
This will be my prophesy.

Longing makes her skin glisten.
I am drawn to unfamiliar contours,
feel nothing but the sharp corners
of checkboxes I tick in turn.

So this is all it is, I say,
standing up. Straight again.
There's more inside, what you seek
might just be in here, she urges,
flashing Tarot cards between her thighs.

It's not in there, I reply

and return to the whirlwind dancing outside.
It's not there either.
Heavy rains have reduced empty cans,
bottles, sugarcane husks to a joyless jig.

I'll dance for you, my soothsayer says.

But all that can soothe has already been said.
I smooth over the ruffled sheets of my single bed.

>>>

Editorial Note

The Sentinel Valentine
Month Special

Poems

LOLA SHONEYIN
(Guest)
Like A Split Reed At Waterfront
Music-making
Trysexual
You Shall Love Again

JOSEF LESSER
Fragments Of a Letter Washed Ashore

EYITEMI EGWUENU
Chronicles III

NGOZI OBASI AWA
The Bee Hums Again

BARBARA REIHER-MEYERS
Valentine's Day At
The Laundromat

KODI AZUONYE
Entreaty

DURLABH SINGH
Sleep

DIKE OKORO
Cape Town

NGOZI UNIGWE
Beauty Is You

TOLULOPE OGUNLESI
Lorenzo and Maria

NNAMDI NDU
Substance Of My Dream
Whom Shall I Tell?
Remembering Old Times

Interview
NNOROM AZUONYE
My E-Conversation with
LOLA SHONEYIN

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