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i stopped dreaming        of Neptune; a sky raining diamonds       collected into my hat

i mean, into the gloved hands of my mother’s surgeon   //

tonight, i’m suctioned       into a dreamscape      where the ghost of my father is a spaceship

pirate     on this plain      of light, gas & dust   //  from a sun dog, he rides       on

a UFO plastered with the stickers of soccer stars      from the future      ; all cyborgs

he asks about home       i tell him the hand of our clock is a dart      ; it strikes       twelve &

there is a windfall       of mangled bodies        on our streets        black boys

in a Venn diagram        with two circles in a rectangle indicating the relationship

between bullets & boys         he sighs          then, inverts an hourglass of stardust

to allow more time with me      //

from here, earth is an aquarium of dead fish         nanobots transmit his thoughts

in a wireless cloud         screens display a fond memory       of him spinning me around

remembrance is a letter burning       in reverse, he says         whetting a spearhead

on an asteroid        to hunt drones          sent from an alien observatory

i tell him my cousins say grace         over plates of bones      from necklaced bodies

i tell him it’s another kind of Ash Wednesday now     i tell him

much has changed         about him         so much         some villains decompose

into gods, he tells me       an average ghost is Einstein’s IQ       raised to the power

of all the nerves         in the human brain         his reflection blue on the surface of the Styx

like a litmus paper in alkaline        //

he pulls out a gold tooth        & instructs me to buy a casket or             pay the bride-price

of my dreams           he exiled

says i must hold my breath         as i embrace him            because, he stinks of regrets


he squeezes nanobots into my palms         i would wake up to find          as screws

i ask him if he misses home

& his body breaks into a thousand salmons

returning                to an eye        //

Martins Deep (he/him) is an Urhobo poet living in Kaduna, Nigeria. He is a photographer and digital artist, and is currently a student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Current Issue
18 Sep 2023

Ama’s arm rested protectively around the girl’s shoulder as the giant bird glided above, its head angling right to left. Violet-black wings soared across a cloudless sky, blocking the sun’s midday rays and swathing sections of the village in deep shadow. Given its size, this argentavis was one of her first, but too far above for her to differentiate by name. Even across the distance, Ama could feel its heartbeat synced to hers, their lives intertwined until death.
She is leaving the world that is pink with desire, on her gray cardboard rocket ship.
Friday: Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung 
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