Against a black background, a point of light shines from the center of a sphere whose surface is formed by a repeating series of polygonal shapes

Encomium to the Sky that Pulls Me Through Wonder, Selfless Machine

Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan

Encomium To The Sky That Pulls Me Through Wonder

You forge my tongue into a robot just to bless
my incurable dialect with

it sounds pretty good as a demo & does not

provoke plosives from rebellious aspirates.
It demands more than hyperoxia
to call out the puff from a sky drunken with oxygen.
You smuggle a black cat
into my crude canines just to teach me the dentition
of a black panther.

To you, this is all it takes to morph a black cat into a jaguar.
To you, a body drugged with wild oncogenes
is the closest thing
to a spellbound that ignores boundaries like a fascinated sphinx, like a

multipurpose cyborg. Any sharp lyric that could not make it
into the mainstream songs
should pass as an interlude; no chap should be wasted
on the road to stardom,
no heirloom ropes the ancestors dearly to my neck
ore than the cowries

you make out of my thumbnails. I’m beginning to cherish
every modest purpose you knit from my forsaken systems —
the way it brightens
the cackling stars into huge galaxies with a dual-edged laughter

breaking out of my wrecked mouth. You publish yourself chiefly
in me as a marinated body
where the year is always so young & full of tomorrow,
where cyborgs earn
a heart of their own to make themselves worthy of feelings
& love.

You grant me this purpose & it feels like an answered prayer,
to call me useful & bring it to birth, to pull me through
the pool of wonder
& mold me a star amongst the twinkling fireflies.

Selfless Machine

There’s so much blade
on the fist of a country —

so much scissors on the
hands of blooming laws:

How many times will I start
with furious naked wires

on my teeth? An egalitarian
cosmos on my animal heart?

There’s a saintless way of
excavation: a premonition

of the past taking tolls
on the future & outlawing

my rocket from batching
into the space with a lamp

only to end up discovering
that god is a vacuum feasting

on our echoes. I practice this
to understand the thing pulling

us under laws. What grows
a rock in the ignorance of magma?

What walks on water in the oblivion
of weight? If I had earned the odds to

save the dinosaurs from rebellious
asteroids — if I had such grace of

pull in this world, don’t you think
I would make our space selfless &

beautiful before a loyal cause
blessing our websites with cookies?

Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan (he/him/his) is a speculative writer of Izzi, Abakaliki ancestry; a Medical Laboratory Science student whose works have been nominated for the Forward Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and the Best of The Net Award. He was the winner of Write About Now’s Cookout Literary Prize, and has been published in several magazines and journals.