There was the sea, yes; blue held
between the island and its hem of coral.
I liked diving best, the warm, lemony
taste of seawater, the fizz of sand
like leaning my ear to the rim of a glass of Fanta.
Afterwards, salt crusted my eyelashes, cracked
my lips; I sat in the sun with my arms wrapped round
my legs, licked the fine, bitter dust on the insides
of wrists, elbows, the tops of knees.

Here it was sweet water, sweet stones;
the pebble-click language of lakes.

Always stepping in to be carried: to be
lifted, tilted and tear-dropped, set down
by swells on toe-tips. To be swayed. Whole afternoons
spent like this; at the end of the day I would lie in bed,
        feeling water,
turbulent ghost moving through me, my body
not yet accustomed to the bed’s smooth,
rippled beach.

– Soraya Peerbaye. Lagoons and lakes


  • Tell: poems for a girlhood