Seance (Martins Deep)

Sleeping & waking all these years

in the larva of butterflies,

Papa, i’ve grown tastebuds on my feet.

i unbuckle my sandals, to let my feet

taste of this soil, your longing for home

— something sweeter than the nectar

     of this hibiscus in full bloom.

a bed too far for birdsong to bestir you

Orogun— here you were laid

a bed too far for birdsong to bestir you

for morning prayers.

i’ve come, standing

with a chestful of songs

djembe in my heart, throbbing

where your fellow dead can hear,

their forms beckoned out the cavity of trees

for a farewell dance.

here i kneel, body folded

into your second gravestone

until you— whose tongue has only known to call me

after the fragment of your dream—

desire to rest your hand on my shoulder.

you saying, “let’s go home, son”

two of us climbing spiderwebs

across the divide, gently

following a firefly with a stomachful of stars

fluttering towards the palms of a boy

—boy whose body you’d choose

   to share a mother, & a dream.


Martins Deep (he/him) is a budding African poet, photographer/artist, & currently a student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. His works deeply explores the African experience. His creative works have appeared, or are forthcoming on FIYAH, The Roadrunner Review, Barren Magazine, The Sandy River Review, Eunoia Review, Agbowó Magazine, Surburban Review, Twyckenham Notes, FERAL, Black Lives Matter: Poems for a New World, Kalahari Review, & elsewhere. He loves jazz, adores Amanda Cook, and fantasizes reincarnating as an owl. He tweets @martinsdeep1


image: Lindsay Hargrave