1. To say I love you is to say you have flooded

my knee with rain 

: is to say the viscosity of my synovial fluid

has been adulterated & I have lost anchorage

2. To say I love you, O Beloved, loving as gravity, is to say

I have succumbed to the weight of your forceful love

: is to say my back has been shaped into the curve 

of a bow — poised for whatever is in your quiver

3. To say I love you is to say we are at sea, 

you, the big shark; I, the plank— ton

: is to say I pay the coming tempest no heed 

Loving is giving; is forgiving; is weathering 

a storm

4. To say I love you is to say I open my mouth in welcome

as I sink to the seabed

: is to say even when I go turgid with your loving,

O Beloved, jealous as air, I will still yearn for you —

5. To say I love you is to say I don’t mind dying

even though this isn’t really working

: is to say this poem should have ended in the beginning

: is to say I should have walked away at the shore.

Abdulbaseet Yusuff is a Nigerian writer. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Brittle Paper, African Writer, MoonPark Review, Rising Phoenix Review, Praxis Magazine Online, Ngiga Review, Kalahari Review, dreams walking, and Memento: An Anthology Of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry. You can follow him on Twitter @bn_yusuff.