the shape of a sea is a ship
carrying bodies of frightened boys
to where they can kiss boys
without having to run into obituary posters on Lagos walls.

the shape of hope
is a wooden cabin of the ship
with a window
that reminds the boys of stories
their lovers told them
about boys who wear their skin like it’s the only clothing they will ever own.

they’ve become a part of the breeze,
part of the beautiful things freedom brings in Harvard. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
and the sea below them
has taken the shape of distant faces
waiting on time to afford them this voyage.

i guess the shape of patience
is always late but worth the wait.


Oppong Clifford Benjamin is a civil engineer by profession and award-winning poet. His poems have appeared in  KWEE magazine in Liberia, the Portor Portor (an anthology which featured six contemporary poets and six established poets across the world), Brittle paper, WRR, Ghana Writes Literary Journal, the UK poetry library. In 2013, WRR poetry in Nigeria honoured Clifford as the Ghana Poet of the year. Clifford has read his poems in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Russia. He has authored a collection of short stories titled The Virgin Mother and other short stories, published by Forte Publishing house in Monrovia, Liberia.