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X.After a century, the first colony
of bluebirds flew out of my mouth.

IX.This morning, when I said my name
before the mirror, a sunflower broke

out of it. VIII. I have witnessed too many
crashing within this body, and I wonder

if I’ll one day develop immunity against
this violence. VII. The CT scan reveals

flowers sprouting from the base of my
ventricles. Perhaps this would account

for the nectar on my tongue. VI. In this
transterrestrial habitat, the wind runs

across my skin, brewing a kind of music
—forlorn, yet tender. V. The sun’s ray falls

on my cracked flesh & I transmute into
an hologram of grace. IV.Gravity becomes

fluid & the sky only rains crystalflake.
III. Buried within my chest are strands of

synthesized miracles. II. Most times what
molds us can also catalyze our decay. Even

the genesis of a scar can be a lovely kiss.
I. If I ever go missing, search for me among

the congregation of bluebirds; at the wake
of dusk when they retire into their nest.



Joshua Effiong, Frontier VI, is a writer and digital artist from the Örö people of Nigeria. Author of a poetry chapbook, Autopsy of Things Left Unnamed (2020). His works have been published or are forthcoming in 580 split, Wrongdoing Magazine, Vast Literary Press, Native Skin and elsewhere. He tweets @JoshEffiong.
Current Issue
26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
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