My dead aunt visits me in the dream. But, my phone autocorrects Dead Aunt as Dear Ant, by Chinedu Gospel

for Aunt N—
My dear ant comes
          to me in dreams. 
Because she’s so 
small, she can make                           
             a tiny hole in my 
cerebrum. My dear ant
offers me a glass of water. 
           She thinks I need to 
be softer than bones to 
breathe. My dear ant 
              is learning to exhale—
it is this close to surrender.
My dear ant asks me
              to sing her a hymn.
But, I am not sure she’s
more river than dust,
              to flow with my 
rhythm. I am not sure 
my dear ant can be 
                washed into the
surface of my lesion 
& not hurt, & be hurt.
                 My dear ant kisses
my cheeks. & the warmth
is an agony. the only thing 
                    she left behind. She
tells me she’s sorry. And I 
wonder why the dear bear
               the guilt for their own
misfortunes? My dear ant asks 
how my mother is doing. 
                & I say, fine. She’s healing
Maybe, you can visit her too 
in dreams, & cover the
                 moles on her flesh. 
My dear ant crawls
into my palm & says
                cover me, beloved.
So I cup my palm & sing her 
the lullaby she sang me 
                  at four. we fall
asleep, only to wake up
to my palm cold &
                   frozen. A sting
sprawling in my phalanges.
She was gone
Again. Again.

Chinedu Gospel, frontiers IV, is a Nigerian poet & undergraduate. His works have appeared in Fiyah Magazine, Savant Garde, Foglifter Press, Hoax publications, Blue Marble Review & elsewhere. He tweets @gonspoetry.

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