The deep distance across the Atlantic

By Novisi Dzitrie

October 12, 2023



When I heard about the country Curaçao
I remembered a time
I sought quiet
at the meeting of festive bodies
some painted
some in masquerades
consumed by the rush of adrenaline
without sweat without the crack of the whip
on the bare backs of the rebellious
the gush of blood
flooding the street in the Chale Wote breeze.
This was in James Town, British Accra — in
the motion of the impressionists, or
what the luxury of distance granted us far away
from the years of the slave ships.
I took the turn at Usher Forte.
This was on impulse.
I stepped away from the crowd towards the sea.
In a way, this was Chale Wote
as I imagined a festival — a fist raised
to the face of remnant colonial walls,
which still stood tall
if confrontation did not bring them all down
I sought a quiet way to strike a final blow.
At the beach, I crushed the crests of tiny tides
still lapping up all traces of footprints on the shore.
This was with the touch of my underfoot.
And I wonder now if the receding waters
ever traveled across the Atlantic,
all the way, if this was a way to connect
with those of our brothers and sisters shackled off
like cargo, the salty metals soaking their blood
that the water I touched here
is the same water they touched over there
if I still sought quiet,
the luxury distance granted us,
and then the different movements of bodies
as I saw them come and go. Migrant seagulls
dived in here. They came to hunt.
Every five minutes or so, the flights from Kotoka
also lifted the heavyweights of their take-offs this way,
towards the sea, banking East or West.

if confrontation did not bring them all down I sought a quiet way to strike a final blow.

-Novisi Dzitrie

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About the author

Novisi Dzitrie

Novisi Dzitrie was born to Ghanaian parents in Kakata, Liberia. He lives in Ghana where he volunteers at Writers Project of Ghana. His poems have been published by Obsidian, New Orleans Review, Prairie Schooner, SAND Journal, and others.