Image by Juliana Toro

Poetry Latent Heat

Gospel Chinedu

to see in a city like this is to hoard catastrophe
in the storage of your memory become a virus
your psyche disturbed : distorted : difficult to sanitize
in this city every boy is an isotope weighing a mass greater
than the atomic mass of his original body in my mourning
i drag myself to the mouth of a big hole when i open my
mouth it swallows the hole & i’m curious of how much emptiness
can fill an emptiness to the brim so in the shade of sun-
light i get very nervous because my psyche is non-solar
& usually doesn’t respond under latent heat i mean
every hand i have held so close was gaslit in a burial
my tongue sickle-shaped with birds who sing sick songs
in my mourning i reboot my psyche to survive the heat
but these strange adrenalines dilate my pupils tense my
muscles so much i could mistake a star for an arrow tell the
speed of an incoming bullet & outrun the claws of death
even though if i got hit my heart would beep like a siren
a clock ticking my head sunken in a halo of death asking is it time
to death-dance at this point i walk into a bar to bolster
the RAM of my psyche there where the bartender serves
cold blood in a glass & there are boys here high high enough
to elevate above catastrophe above fear high enough
to look into another boy’s eyes & call him God.

Gospel Chinedu (Frontier IV) is a Nigerian poet, an undergraduate at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, and a member of the Frontiers Collective (a poetry family). He tweets @gonspoetry and enjoys playing chess when he’s neither writing nor reading poetry.