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Q3, How Do You Measure Your Size of Sleep?

See, look over your shoulders— fix your gaze

through this calling window, when last did you

see the ambiguity of turbulence? in my country,

you could see a strong wind blowing: you could

see a mass of turbulence that outgrew the wind

so much the wind rather floats with the warmth

of the birds it tells the convo between the ammos

and the bodies of women and children too. gravity

opened its mouth and i saw that a man fell into it.

here, you could see through a window— there,

the scene opens through the fractal on my wall.

when has a bomb expressed itself openly in this

city last? o, you havenʼt heard a bomb speak? they

opened the mouth of the black machine and it said,

i have no option, just die. in my country, heaven

becomes gray before you go inside it. look through

this window, canʼt you see a lady sending forth her

thighs to swallow the sound of the beating drums?

o, look this way— this boy, volleying his femurs

till he reached the bodega. look at the countryʼs flxg

in his back pocket. jeez louise, are gas stations this

silent here? i once was told that an expatriate carries

turpentine silence when a child of the flxg asks him

of his origin. if he speaks about it, he should carry

sugar on his tongue. wait, does the seats in the

parliament clash into themselves to form red

sounds like cymbals here, too? i am muslim. in my

country, the waves from the radio became the qibla;

my countryʼs name drowns inside a red light in the

news and breaks everybodyʼs shahada. i speak for the

voices of my children silenced in the matrix. i speak

for a quantity of sunlight screaming out the names

of the men, women, youth, children, that got

swallowed into my countryʼs ground in Taraba, or

the ones that saw a body of the firmament on the

soil of a bullet in Plateau. i speak for myself, too.

now, you can tell that i had a good night rest in

your country— i did not hear one decibel from any

explosion that could fold a city into smoke. but

home is home until the plateaux of home molds

into the fangs of snakes. Ms. Jacobs, tell me, what

else do you want to hear?

Israel Okonji (He / Him) is a Southern Nigerian artist of poetry, storytelling & music. He is published/forthcoming @ Brittle Paper, Bruiser Magazine, Midsummer Magazine, Wasteland Review, Juste Lit, The Milton Review, & many more. He listens to music ranging from Marvin Gaye to Elton John, Nas to Kendrick Lamar, Ne-Yo to Chris Brown, Rihanna to Adele, Brymo to Made Kuti. He hopes to fulfill his dream of collecting records like Craig Kallman. Also, he hopes to own a bungalow housing cats and willow ptarmigans. He has a special place for Brit actress Emma Watson in his heart. He tweets @izrltrcz.

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