restricted access Bejibeji: olimí
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Translated by Isis McElroy (bio)

festival in the ocean folks    swarming over the waters of the great mother sacred ground seized by thighs crowned     by bass-hips rapturous living frock propped on     its own hem lengthy-cerulean     flowing from bosom down to ankles licking against her curves     lubricated always resuming wandering lady mistress over sparkling flowers    smoothly extricates herself dancing a honey-flowing fancy     white flamed phlegm green petals one foot before another     eye drawing out to cast on shore just what is kept at her eyes level    incessant go-go (baggage carousel) or as if perched on a procession chariot     suspended above pain and adoration sinewy serene siren     conveyer plummeting identical toy boats objects from street craft fairs     spawning of trinkets on the clear beach    courtesan of all moons iwas verses vortices sweet smelling baroque buttocks    her hips justify her epithet: earth shaker    naked armpit polished as a shell in its hollowed inside     if homer had met yoruba yemanja perhaps he would have fashioned a sweeter     ocean for odysseus son of laertes

Ronald Augusto

Ronald Augusto is author of Disco and Puya, volumes of poems. He lives in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Isis McElroy

Isis Mcelroy is an assistant professor of Afro-Brazilian literature and culture at Arizona State University.


* Yoruba annual masking festivity which honors the ancestors and celebrates the New Year.