Tonight like every other night to come
you will stay awake thinking of home;
home—is it a land or mewling thighs?

Just like phone sex between fantasists
distance is a confession of your wishes

and space has dragged itself into fame

You are a durian—a metaphor
and your thorns are not forever
tomorrow could taste like heaven

just leave your fears to cover their mouth
leave hope to stick its nose in your business

keep your mind open to popular wisdom:
the only smell of distrust between
a country and a citizen is exile.

Jumoke Verissimo

Jumoke Verissimo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the author of two poetry collections, I Am Memory (Dada Books) and The Birth of Illusion (Fullpoint). Jumoke is currently in the final stages of discussion with the Cassava Republic for her first novel. Some of her poems are in translation in Norwegian, Japanese, Italian, French and Macedonian.

Saraba is a literary magazine focused on the work of new writers in Nigeria and other parts of the African continent. Since 2009, we have published several issues of a magazine, editions of poetry chapbooks, and online-only work.
Our ongoing Manuscript Project supports the publication of long-form fiction and nonfiction by ten new Nigerian writers.
Registered as a non-profit in Nigeria, we depend on the support of readers like you to publish new writing. Please donate.