The king, wandering around

his mistress' thighs, hallucinates

as his mud palace burns.


He says the ashes would make

the furious ocean repent.


Sometimes sex wears pretense

like a lifejacket to survive shipwrecks.

That is the room inside where everyone dies,


inside where the king wakes every morning

with enough hate in his heart


to sink a city

in a nutshell, touched by gravity

that makes his body a slave


to such negative energy,

to such painful jouissance.


The moon, hurriedly moving

between two bodies

soaked in silence,


also stands by the window

to eavesdrops on every confession


where the ocean promised

to never again flare the fire

that flooded the king's palace.


Like the muffled roar of a man

in climax, children behind the wall,


the king whispers to his own ghost

“I told you the ocean is my friend”

his shadow rushes out of the room as smoke.


The earth cries,

“this king is just a sweat under the armpit


he would never let the hand rest”.


Bola Opaleke

Bola Opaleke is a Pushcart Prize nominee. His poems have appeared or forthcoming in a few journals like Frontier Poetry, Rising Phoenix Review, Writers Resist, Rattle, Cleaver, One, The Nottingham Review, The Puritan, The Literary Review of Canada, Sierra Nevada Review, Dissident Voice, Poetry Quarterly, The Indianapolis Review, Canadian Literature, Empty Mirror, Poetry Pacific, Drunk Monkeys, Temz Review, St. Peters College(University of Saskatchewan) Anthology (Society 2013 Vol. 10), Pastiche Magazine, and others. He holds a degree in City Planning, and lives in Winnipeg MB.