Content Warning: death, bones, dark themes
Joshua Effiong - Odyssey
I take a bus in this ghost town every time
I come visiting. In this universe, the mountains
hang upside down with the trees walking around.
Here, time only crawls counterclockwise, & the
pieces of the real world only rains thunderstorms.
From afar, I sight Uncle Sam who got vomited by
a river-lifeless-after forty-eight hours. They say his
demise is wrapped in skepticism but how do you
teach the dead the taste of truth. My grandmother's
eyes still shelters a night, sepulchering the sores that
comes with the downpour of grief. In this universe,
the streets are celebrated for the bone-lined boulevards,
carrying the history of lost things. & the sky is pregnant
with unending supplications offered at their graveside. Everyone
here walks backwards to avoid the superimposition of worlds.
I wonder who told you that the unliving is tasty
for prayers because in this place you are a portrayal of how
you've lived. The wind forms a cloud of ash around our feet.
This transfiguration is a ritual for soul cleansing. Perhaps
you would consider this place as purgatory. Take this
message to mama, tell her that every time I visit this ghost
town I feel at home.
A Nigerian by birth and Studying Science Laboratory Technology at University of Calabar. Joshua Effiong is a lover of poetry & here he finds freedom. His works has appeared/forthcoming in Eboquills, Kalahari Review, Shallow Tales Review, Rough Cut Press, Madrigal Press, Warning lines, Hearth Magazine, Mausoleum Press etc. Author of Autopsy of Things Left Unnamed. He also find joy in photography and reading. Connect with him via Instagram @josh.effiong and twitter @JoshEffiong
Photograph: Shadows of the Dead by Claire Loader
Claire Loader is a New Zealand-born writer and photographer now living in Galway, Ireland. Her work has featured in various magazines and anthologies, including cover photography for the Bangor Literary Journal and Three Drops From a Cauldron. Inspired by the many stunning ruins to be found in the Irish countryside, you can find more of her work at www.allthefallingstones.com