The boats return
Heavy from cities and distance.
The crickets fall asleep.
A child listens to the hollow of a conch.
Perhaps it is the moment for another trip
At the bow, for certain, the turning point.
Here alchemies are beget
Slow hymns embroidered in lacerations
They soothe the dead
There are caves and birds of fire
The sprouts of uncomfortable messages
The difficult trade of hewing patience.
The art of travel happens
So much learning from the rudder and patch . . .
It’s when the eye imitates the island’s example
And all the seas burst onto the veranda.
Conceição Lima is a Santomean poet from the town of Santana in São Tomé. She studied journalism in Portugal and has worked in radio, television, and print in her native country. She has published three books of poetry: O Útero da Casa, A Dolorosa Raiz do Micondó, and O País de Akendenguê.
Circum-Navigation first appeared in TLR Chemistry.