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Image by Fer Nando


the madrigal, volume ii

Transatlantic Geometry

by joshua effiong

/history is sediment of time,

sturdy like diamond

to undo history, we ask time

to become cannibal, which is to say

we ask time to chew on its own

fangs/ —Abdulbaseet Yusuff


So, I coined this Middle Age form of

concept-generating activity from the

mixtape of time, two black bodies


lying horizontally on the deck of an

Atlantic ship = 180degrees. & if one

is vertical, he forms angle 90. Multiply


the wails + the sound of whips

& ÷ by the distance between home and

a Euro-american plantation. You could


hear the mediterranean wind whispering

the sour hymns of tribal betrayal & the

cries of another child nursing the disappearance


of a father, brother, mother, sister… Grief

is blackskinned, he prides in this colour like

an ancestral uniform. Stitched into the


anatomy of several black bodies, of offspring

birthed in the field of servitude to be named

Jackson just to fit in. These callous hands mould


us into a triangle,

a square,

a trapezoid,

a parallelogram,


any transatlantic geometric shape

that will vaporize the remnant of our

voice. To drive our hearts faraway

from home. This life is hexagonal

with numerous paths to freedom. I

tell you, freedom was the moment

we got our stipends, when we prayed

& hoped that this child we carry, sings

her first cry as freeborn.

Joshua Effiong [He] is a Nigerian writer and a lover of literature. His works has appeared in Eboquills, Kalahari Review & Shallow Tales Review. He is an author of a poetry chapbook Autopsy of Things Left Unnamed. When he is not writing, he is reading, watching movies and listening to music. An undergraduate of Science Laboratory Technology. He lives in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. And here he writes from. You can find him on Instagram @josh.effiong and twitter @JoshEffiong

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