Congratulations! You’re In A Cult

By Aïcha Martine Thiam

The last time someone asked how I was holding up, the visceral lie cut in line
to stunt on all the candid things I almost said. I’ve been known to prick holes
into the bottom of heart heavy things. So take what I say with a grain of salt:
but I happen to know that batshit girls make the best friends in need.

                              It is true,
                              I have been them.


my co-disciples and I, flagellating ourselves (for what again, I forget), heaving self-deception
turned sabulous truth, touting this magic made from carnage, transcendence from sorrow.

The self-harmer will put a therapist to shame with her cut-through perspicacity.
The suicide ideator will sell you life’s momentousness to save your soul.
The bulimic offers ipecac like it’s water after a sun-soaked day.

An upper for the landfall,
                                          a sip,
                                                   a tip,
                                                            a nudge.


our toothpick knees frayed in supplication, lint in eyes, hair in mouths, going
                              I got this I got this yeah yeah I got this

Even you’d idle and watch the trainwreck.
Maybe this is the reformed disciple in me, conjuring up a softer, stand-in reality;
maybe it’s my third eye talking, persuaded it sees clearer than the other two;
maybe I went looking for home again, and pro-ana houses seemed like solid talus caves;
do not judge me, I know better now: this wisdom, it takes work.

But then again the last time someone asked to shoulder the space under my
paperweight heart, I Irish Goodbye-d out of there like a thief on fire.
So (I’m not exactly a reliable source) take what I say
with a grain of salt.

A. Martine is a trilingual writer, musician and artist of color, and might have been a kraken in a past life. She’s an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press and co-Editor-in-Chief/Producer/Creative Director of The Nasiona. Her collection AT SEA, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize is forthcoming with CLASH BOOKS. Twitter @Maelllstrom, Insta @Maelllstrom, website

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