Afterwards, he liked to talk.
We talked about Homeland Security, crossing rivers secretly, border patrols, loose women in army towns, Carnival, pilgrimage, his grandmother’s holy shrine, red rivers of lights out of his church, what his Sacred Heart tattoo meant, what his pierced nipple signified.
I liked that when he spoke English he had a schoolboyish lisp. I said his name when we touched. He said, “Please baby, without the ‘s’.”
I smoked and let him talk. My bed was a shore and he’d washed up here beside me from somewhere unimaginable I’d need to keep asking him to explain until morning came. When he finished he looked deep into my eyes and told me his mother was an actual saint.
Before we went asleep I kissed his eyelids.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie