We walk hand in hand. Our dog yaps
at a crab shuffling under the mossy rock.
The cool weather yanks a throng to the bank,
away from the marsh where food is scanty, and my betrothed
in Caribbean shorts whisper how ugly the men are here.
I do not know if it’s to dampen my suspicion,
but we schlep to the end of the road,
leaving the mess of people skinny-dipping in the silvery river.
It’s a beach party without bulbs levitated by wires.
The milky trail inundates the boys like oysters.
The walk towards the shack with a golden asterisk
swiveling like a bell was easy.
The crickets are a coliseum with fireflies,
elucidating the areas behind the kiosk.
On the wooden counter are samples of liquors bottles
deserted by men, and several lumps of beef fry in hot oil.
The scent of curry winds; we think of white wine and meat.
Our demands never for what our pockets offer; we settle
for a cold bottle, beg for glasses, gulp our glasses dry.
The bare bottle rattles in the passing soft wind.
To erase the past from becoming, the waves rush to erase footprints.
We’re back at the bank, closer to chilling water.
Onyedikachi Chinedu reads “The Stroll”
Onyedikachi Chinedu is a Nigerian poet. They are a 2021 HUES Foundation scholar, a poetry reader for Non.Plus Lit and Guesthouse Lit; their works are published and forthcoming in Guesthouse Lit, Anomaly, The Hellebore, Rappahannock Review, Midway Journal, and elsewhere.