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  • Aïcha Martine Thiam

Congratulations! you’re in a cult

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. Some words found or forthcoming in: Déraciné, The Rumpus, Moonchild Magazine, Marías at Sampaguitas, Luna Luna, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Pussy Magic, South Broadway Ghost Society, Gone Lawn, Boston Accent Lit, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cosmonauts Avenue, Tenderness Lit. @Maelllstrom/


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