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.





Cover of TLR's "Chemistry" issue with cover art by Wayne Chang

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.