Listen.

Are you listening?

Okay, good.

Now, we need to — are you listening?

I need you to listen very carefully, now. Everything I’m going to say is important, also everything I’ve ever said, and will say. It’s all important, everything. And nothing at all.

Feel it, let it pass through you, the first stars of creation as you breathe them in, at the beginning of everything, where there is only you. The world is only us, has only ever been us.

Been.

You’re hurt, aren’t you? Why? Why did she hurt you?

No, no, no. Wrong question.

Why were you hurt?

And why have you chosen to drink your poison to heal?

Shoes.

There are shoes on the floor. Why are there shoes on the floor?

Well, that’s obvious. Because someone put them there.

No, wrong question. It’s not who left the shoes on the floor, or even the shoes that’re important, it’s what the shoes will affect.

The stories.

The stories aren’t important. Not really, it’s where the stories take you. That’s where the gold is.

Gold, money. Money, that would be good. No, would it? I don’t know.

Pay attention, are you listening? You need to listen; this is the important part.

Parts. Parts of a story, that take us down the stream of our own lives and experiences. Stories are magic, aren’t they?

The truest forms.

Stories.

Stories.

Stories.

No.

Where is the poem you always read? Damnit, we need it now. Where is it?

No, forget that.

Laugh. Laugh like your whole being is in celebration of a future yet to be lived. Then tear up. Then send her a voice note. Check up on her. That’s what people do, no? Right?

Now, fall on the bed, and smile, and laugh. And let the euphoria sweep you away, into the ether, into the never, into the always, into the place you were born and will die.

Let it sweep you home.

Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya.

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