and so long the night—Martins Deep

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                                                                        to strangle your joy,
                                                                        ghosts ride to the battlefield
                                                                        on your pillow, at nightfall.

& at nightfall they raid,
because, those whose spears are icicles
do not go out to war in the sun.

at daylight, they perch on your clavicles, biding|   
                                                       & at night, they peck at your eyes till it splits into thin shards
of a mirror trapped full with a thousand reflections|  there is papa in a piece, barking/snarling;
                                                                                              you good for nothing boy!

 you also discover your heart|
imagery:  a piece of brittle mica
                 in the hand of a schoolboy
                 about to attempt shotput on a mount.

nostalgia sheds its skin into things that drink silent screams|
                                                                          under the twin blood moon in your eyes

to get rid of the lingering taste of memory’s breastmilk,
you rinse your mouth with a goblet of firewater         [a potion you really want to believe
                                                                                            can cure you into an amnesiac]
vices, again, offers you other ways 
to be weaned…

27 June/2008    but by means of a scent/song, dreary scenes wander
                             into your web of thoughts
                                                        [the one where you entangle yourself in the process
                                                        till your adam’s apple is positioned between its canine]

bleeding, tonight, you pelt your mother’s god cuss words,
& hope to watch him cloak/shield himself in the grey plumage
of this lamenting owl in the cavity of a dead oak|      to grieve for the faults in the idea of
                                                                                how this tender chalice, that you are, must bear 
                                                            magma to his lips, yet keep from withering. 
but because there is no chink in his armor,
all you hurled at him rebounds towards you|       as dewdrops on your hair.

Martins Deep is a Nigerian poet & photographer. He is passionate about documenting muffled stories of the African experience in his poetry & visual art. Writing from Kaduna, or whichever place he finds himself, the acrylic of inspiration that spills from his innermost being tends to paint various depictions of humanity/life in his environment. His creative works have appeared, or are forthcoming on Barren Magazine, Chestnut Review, Mineral Lit Mag, Agbowó Magazine, Writers Space Africa, Typehouse Literary Magazine, The Alchemy Spoon, Dream Glow, The Lumiere Review, Variant Literature, & elsewhere. He is also the brain behind Shotstoryz Photography and can be reached on twitter @martinsdeep1.

photo by Priscilla Du Preez (via unsplash)