The Denizen of Elegushi Beach

by Dele Meiji

For my goddess, who heals my heart, and shows me another way

I want in some way/ For you to come back to me.
Through singeing pain/ And the vagaries of history, I hope
You’ll find/A shard of something sharp
But I never got to give you
Something Sharp/
A vase, a beautiful pin, the tip of a jagged shell/ Just the
short sharp snap of a beautiful memory
Of me, undressing you, on Elegushi Beach


I don’t even know/
If you – are worthy of me – and I, of you?
With your short sharp shoes, and your chesire cat grin
And the smelly things I imagine you do
When no one is watching,
Like pick your nose, and scratch your chin, and massage your
own anus, earnestly, wishing it was me
But there is something/just throbbing –
Wishing that there was time in infinite
the way Einstein promised it/a marble cake
that if one could see stretches out and out – to infinity
Like my emotions, and the deep blue sea – as far as the eye can see – from Elegushi Beach
Where you arrested me


Broke out in hives
And then courted me, in response to my earnest entreaties
pleasuring me, fucking me, verbally, with your words
that resonated so sweetly to this love-starved, latchkey baby
Holding on to a fantasy/ Not realising that as we spoke,
It was becoming/ Memory
Your presence/
So beautifully virgin, new territory for me
Nigerian/ A fellow person, interested in me
Our bodies vibrating on the threnody of my fantasy, skinny beauty, black and young
You had me
And ate me, with your words – and the pulsing way
you sighed – and said ‘feelings’, feelings, and the suggestion of things to come


From which I ran away at first,
My response to love/ Avoidance

A long studied trick, that backfired on me – this time.

You swept me, into your orbit/ your childish, studied, intelligent orbit
I was engrossed by your miseries
Mesmerised by how much you needed me
Enjoyed the feeling of coming home
And being arrested by your digital glory


And when you stripped naked for me
It was shyly, like a bride,
Like fresh-cut flowers, like the morning of creation day
I didn’t know what to expect/ I was petrified I would not
Be excited; be aroused/ Be tempted by your body
But now, it lights a flame in me – not a burning furnace
But something slow-burning, a turning, and an anguish
A low level dependency,
A humming, like the call of the lonely,
An unspoken whisper of needing you desperately, in a crowded room
And though there are crowds of lovers thronging me
They are nothing to me,
When the world is a moment at your feet
A small bit of it and I’ll be still
Imagining or better still, feeling your body next to me,
Our hands exploring each other’s crevices,
Finding secrets, but not confessing them,
Only letting them emerge,
And sealing each revelation with a kiss,
That says, even, whether it is shit or bliss, your body is my
place of reverencing,
I want to worship it – in holy ways and profane,
To feel you grow fat from winter’s pain, and
enjoy the slimness which summer brings.
I want to rollick with you in the hay, yes, even if it is a cliché
And I want you to notice me
In a crowded place, and grow tired of the world and company
And long for me, and me only, in a quiet, and social place
Like we did at the beginning, when we found ourselves a secret, and pleasant thing on New Year’s eve after Elegushi Beach

When you eat/I want you to think of me
When you breath/I want you to think of me
I want you to think of me
When you shit, and piss, and think of me
When you wash your body/
And think of me with purity/As a thing,
That will not defame it, pollute it, only reverence it
And I want you to think of me/Placing kisses at the altar of your intelligence,
Embracing your folly with good grace
celebrating your successes
and wishing death to your enemies of progress

I want you to think of me
When you’re too lonely to be consoled/Even by a mother’s kiss
When only the sweet oblivion of my dick or my arms will do
When your feelings are running and overwhelming you
And you’re breathless/And craving another cigarette
I want you to stop it/Crave me instead

Crave me folding into you,
Crave me falling into you,
Crave me fucking into you,
Crave me wanting into you,
Crave me hoping into you,
Crave me inside of you,
Crave me the moment I fall for you,
Crave me opening my heart to you,
Crave me like the gash craves the healing wound
Like the river craves the sea
Like amens crave a prayer’s lips
Crave me like the cheeks that sealed the judas kiss
Crave me like the rivers need the sea
Crave me like you never wish to see me go
And die,


Crave me like that, and I will die for you/ Without even knowing you,
Crave me/ And I will leave all my hope in you,
Like we left those secrets at the Beach
By the crashing waves and the deep blue sea
And the oblivion of some of our ancestors
And the silent violence that kept our feelings within bounds
That meant you couldn’t touch me then/ Even though you wanted to –

Crave me like you did that day, and I will return to you – though I did not do the leaving
Like I am doing the wanting you.



Post image by Fe Ilya via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - MeijiDele Meiji is a British-Nigerian writer. His poetry and fiction have appeared in various publications including Open Road Review, Saraba Magazine, Jalada, Kwani? and Velocity: The best of Apples & Snakes. He blogs at Follow him on twitter, Instagram and Facebook @delemeiji

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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