Existence of Icarus as a Binary Code. My friend dies under a hawk’s breath. & Alzheimer’s as remedy to undo Loss, by Chinedu Gospel


“how did we decode his
               body? meta —made of dust?
or silver —made from 
              rust? Hey, Icarus, 

how do understand your 
              biology after your brain 
was coded with binaries? you, 
               who dared gravity & space-

walked your way into the 
              mouth of the sun in an 
attempt to be luminous. 
              you who coughed the moon 

out of your lungs where it had 
              always consumed you with
darkness. in this tale, the sun 
              doesn’t melt you. say, longing

& loneliness & lust is evident.
               say, the sun wants to fondle a soft 
skin tenderly without alchemizing
               the algorithm of love into soot”

the cyborg narrated.


my friend had always loved 
               this story about Icarus,
he surrendered his body to 
               every glossary of loneliness :

solitude in the morning. 
               silence at noon. & 
suicide at night. he loved counting
               the stars as holy beads. & on nights 

like this, (he said)—suicide —a dark-
                skinned star would lure him to the 
windowsill & say fall, son of Icarus, 
                fall. but, every attempt was my 

nightmare. arrhythmia. sizzled
                sweats. hypertension. & the name
of god staggering between my 
                pink lips. one night —he said (over

the phone), —a hawk softened the 
                 cloud of his room with its breath.
& it rained. & water filled his room 
                 to the brim. & the rest was liquefied

silence flowing through my arteries.
                 after autopsy, the doctor confirmed
depression & lungs saturated with
                 the wickedness of this world. 


sailing in his room, with a paper boat, 
                   fishing. & in the water, i capture
stars that mirror different shades of his 
                   blue smile. each, a haunting. & this 

way, i have lived with a ghost 
                   as a hardware. i have shown 
you that a plague, too, 
                     can be carried everywhere, 

forever, like a souvenir. 
                     each star, boxed in my heart 
as a memory —it outweighs me.
                      true, memory is heavier than 

sorrow. & i have mastered the art 
                      of losing. which is the art 
of putting on so much weight.
                      my doctor says what matters 

now is how much more people 
                      i am willing to lose. the therapist 
contests. says, what matters is how 
                      much weight i am willing to lose, 

every day. my alter ego says which– 
                      ever way, i lose. 


my friend comes to me in a dream 
                      & offers me Alzheimer’s. says it’s the 
only way to move on. my memory.
                      —sanitized, unhacked & nascent.

Chinedu Gospel is an emerging poet & undergraduate from Anambra, Nigeria. He plays chess when he’s not writing. & tweets @gonspoetry. He is a 2x Best of the Net nominee. He is the winner of the StarLit Award, AsterLit 2021 winter Issue. He won an honorable mention in the 2021 Kreative Diadem annual contest (poetry category) & Dan Veach Prize for younger poets, 2022. He was longlisted for the 2022 Unserious collective Fellowship. His works of poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Fantasy Magazine, Mud Season Review, Savant Garde, Bath Magg, Trampset, The Drift mag, Gutter Magazine, Fiyah Magazine, Sonder Magazine, Roughcut Press, Consequence Forum, Agbowo Magazine, The Deadlands, Blue Marble Review among many others.

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