I. TELL ME
“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.
III. I AM
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.