An Island of Water by Salvation Otubu

for E


It will take a great fortune of years
after which I’ll be at the edge of a maltreated river, doting, slow
ungraceful. I’ll want to steal from this
elixir hanging from your lips, merge it with this soil that is

your prayer, and sleep
hoping the mollusks and octopi will revive and carry your fevered
waist before the world makes a pact with the night.

I’ll be inside a fountain named after what you said that Sunday
morning while the city was still snores and flush,
teetering my name into this melody that rises inside your spleen.

I’ll be papered into this hectare of ocean, dreaming a lot of nothings,
and I’ll still want to drink from this very fountain that
made the daughters of chiefs call you mama.




Salvation Otubu, who prefers to be called Salvy, lives and writes in Nigeria. This is his debut publication. His works are also forthcoming in several other literary magazines.

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