Anna weaved my blanket with words
saying I’d feel warmer. I still shivered
inside, knowing I’d head south
before the Doc’s deadline.
She should’ve draped my casket
with words too. Who knows,
it could’ve been warmer down here.
Don’t be in a hurry to wake up
when I show up in your dreams
tonight. Stay. You should know this,
the summit gave us longer claws
to nip more boats voyaging
the belly of Mediterranean.
Don’t be in a hurry to open
your eyes tonight. You should hear this,
we’ve built a Europe on the bed of this sea.
Wake up. Board a rickety boat
to our Europe.
In my dreams, death is a sponge
soaking up the pain of loss
spilled over my skin.
When I awake, my eyes are still wet
you are still dead.
But, I let the sun in for the first time.
Harriet Anena is a writer from Uganda. She is the joint winner of the 2018 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa for her debut poetry collection, A Nation in Labour. Anena’s short stories have been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2018) and twice long-listed for the Short Story Day Africa Prize (2017, 2018). She runs Word Oven, a editing outfit.