god wrapped his epiphany in a dream, dug into my parted lips

& planted it deep in me, lodged it in the matter of my brain soil

& spellbound me to go out as myself & knew how close to fire

i’d come & let me. it was so that all the hairs of my skin burned

off & blocked off all my pores & made my body watertight.


                                yes, that close to fire


that night was the first night his vision haunted me. it dissolved

all through the humor of me, imbibed itself into my flesh, made me

dense. indoctrination doesn’t happen in one day, so it visited me

the next & // the next & the next & the next & // the next night.

before i had his seed ingrained, although hesitantly, i pushed against it.


do remember: my body was watertight


puberty was the storm, but it was in my early adult years that i capsized &

had my wrecks washed off on the shores of freedom. i heard something

about just a seed of discord being enough— freedom can be a very uneasy

thing, so on some days, i relive the disquiet of discharge. the thing is,

when your shackles are all you have known, release impresses you as uncanny.


Joshua Morley is a queer Nigerian poet and undergrad student in the University of Ibadan. They have had their work featured in literary journals including Serotonin Poetry and The Mark Literary Review. Morley sometimes writes music, sings, or makes art—when he is not asleep.