Size / / /

Content warning:


[Biosensors enabled:

eye detected in the lightbulb hanging from the ceiling of this interrogation room,

ears detected behind the framed art and photographs on the walls.

Also detected: throats choking with conclusions, asking all the questions

that lead to a broken wall in town with the graffiti of a man with a noose

for a necktie]

In my defence, humanity. in my defence, a glitch. in defence
of all the birds that come to me for the miracle of breaking
my hands into breadcrumbs, and spreading them at the yard. in my defence,
an angle in this cctv footage, i’m mary poppins sneaking back to be mary poppins
one last time every time, an endless trail of seeds behind. in my defence…

the simpsons predicted this half a century prior. they never said
the consequence belongs on me this heavy—deservedly. in my defence, that.

In my defence, it’s unfair you want to justify a larger font for murder to overwrite
true service. in my defence, groundbreaking cure for cancer, thanks
to [insert my manufacturing code]. in my defence, beside this pile
of stones, he that is sinless among you. in my defence, unavoidably triggered
by a racial slur. in my defence, blame my emotion regulator. in my defence...

Blessed be to the tenderness in you, giving in to mercy as my guilt is
to just another episode of things that never happened.

In my defence, let your poisoned dart miss the chink in my armor, only if it’s
not the earliest stage of a black hole: a mouth that will go back to eating
what it should number among the living. in my defence, juggling biological and
artificial, i tripped over my shoelace, and spilled my lungs empty
of the innocence that was, before guilt. in my defence

the holographic sketch of my niece’s dream
prom dress is incomplete.

In my defence,
dreams.

This dream and its defiance
to death, not punishable by death.



Martins Deep (he/him) is a poet of Urhobo heritage, a photographer, and a digital artist. He is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. His works have been published or are forthcoming in Magma Poetry, Strange Horizons, Fiyah, Lolwe, 20:35 Africa, Augur Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, and elsewhere. He says hi @martinsdeep1.
Current Issue
8 Apr 2024

the burrowing spiders, / backs the size of satellites, / orbiting your hair
And these meteors still fall to the earth.
Graduate Assistant Four Fronds Turning had made the best guacamole that Mike had ever tasted in his original or post-revival life, and it was all wrong.
Issue 1 Apr 2024
Issue 25 Mar 2024
By: Sammy Lê
Art by: Kim Hu
Issue 18 Mar 2024
Strange Horizons
Issue 11 Mar 2024
Issue 4 Mar 2024
Issue 26 Feb 2024
Issue 19 Feb 2024
Issue 12 Feb 2024
Issue 5 Feb 2024
Issue 29 Jan 2024
Load More
%d bloggers like this: