You’ve lived so long inside the empty house, you go nuts: light beams ricochet off the wall,
becoming something from your past—maybe a younger you, innocent and stubborn, writing
wishes with your milk tooth. A glowing girl walks in through the wall, you cry with your face buried deep inside her flawless palm. Your father drops in through the aluminium roof.
You show him your bruised heels, telling him you are trying your best to become a man. Before he evaporates, you see him opening your letter of regrets. You see dust arrange
miraculously into the images of some old acquittance—someone is chasing you with a flower, another with a knife. Something rattles like a chain, but then you look again
and see your mother’s scarf around your wrist. Isolated long enough, you start seeing the empty house getting filled with people, some come without a face or address.
Some are well dressed like a mannequin on display, some come through the door, and some sprout through the cemented floor like grass. Isolated long enough, you start to notice the dry
veins in your wooden table, and that water follows when the table was still a tree. The gap between the door and the floor through which some insects made it into your room.
That family of spiders that have taken abode under your mahogany chair. You walk around the empty spaces pretending you’re the leader
of an invisible pack of wolves. Waking every day just to haunt yourself.
Joseph Hope is an essayist and poet. He writes from Nigeria, West Africa. His works are forthcoming or already published in Christian Science Monitor, Augur, Stormbird, SolarPunk, Riddlebird, Reckoning, The Sun Press, Wizard In Space, Speculative City, Timber Ghost Press, IBUA, SprinNG, Evening Street Press, Zoetic Press, New Verse News, and more. His poem was shortlisted for the IBUA: bold continental call 2022. He’s a reader for Reckoning Press. He was a fellow in the 2021 SprinNG Writing Fellowship. Author’s page: https://mssg.me/3j5ka. He tweets @ItzJoe9, IG: _hope_joseph_writingpoetry.
Richard Thomson is a South African multi-disciplinary artist who composes different art forms together, depicting different versions of the same story. It’s always the story of humanity yearning for peace, love, and unity. What it means to be in this dualistic world. How to encode the light shining from Source and anchor it here and now through creativity. He has shown work at the Aardklop Festival and at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. Experience some more of his creations here: www.themondayclub.net.