Sentinel Literary Quarterly

Vol.2 No.1, October 2008. ISSN 1753-6499 (Online).

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Esiaba Irobi
Nnorom Azuonye
Sumaila Umaisha
Wumi Raji




Fortieth day of love

On the fortieth day of our love
we stole back to our room
in quiet steps
that brought us to the floor
where love and you and me were one.
But we loved the room,
how we lay there
your hands firm on my chest
like the cross,
you were my priest
blessing me all the way
as if I was a sinner.
noon we were on our
knees. Christ, love was our sin.


Here I heard the songs
of birds crossing
upgathering buds.

At the break of dusk
a song rose above
split reeds:

I listened to the endsong
warm like the heart
on beaks of eagerness
and mastered its endings.

Private Reading

This is what happens when you
ask that I read your lips:
first, the silence I sense,
like the silent rod
that parts the red waters,
fills the day with certitudes.

What you ask I read
might perhaps be that word,
yet weighted with fantasies,
that makes my every guess
the possibilities of life and love.

As for the silence, there are tales
within its syllables teasing the heart.

The word is near, on your lips;
I am reading our love stories.


Obemata, lawyer and politician, has been represented in literary journals as wordriot, blackbiro, origamicondom, liberty. He lives in Abuja, Nigeria.