Exploring the art of prose


Author: Bryan Okwesili

Author’s Note

There is a hurry in the world. A kind of swift impatience for length and a longing for finality immersed in satisfaction. I think flash fiction poses as an entertaining company against the skipping time, and in this story, I tried to remind myself of the many times I sat at the library, at the park, on the bus, watching the people around me, inventing their lives, and being intentional about happy endings. But my imaginations are never reality. What art does to a writer is this—he believes in its magic, until he awakens.

This story captures quite an uncanny relationship between a mortician and a corpse. Writing this piece, I was aiming for an uncommon portrayal of the lives of people whose stories, I believe, matter, too. A mortician, a morgue, corpses, a confession, love, lust, loss: a string of extrospective imaginations wound into a flash fiction.

The introduction of sexuality here highlights my intent of telling the narrative of queerness. I am keen on telling lots of queer stories, exploring the lives of queer persons, especially on the continent of Africa. I believe ‘our’ stories matter, too. And I am most hopeful that these stories, queer stories, bring about change, positive change.


BRYAN OBINNA JOSEPH OKWESILI is a queer Nigerian poet and storyteller. His works explore the interiority and tensions of queerness in a heteronormative culture in which he imagines a world of inclusivity. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for the Tupelo Quarterly Open Fiction Prize. His works appear or are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, SLICE, Isele Magazine, Foglifter, Tupelo Quarterly, Brittle Paper, The Rising Phoenix Review, Ghost City Review, The Shallow Tales Review, and elsewhere. He is currently a student of law at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.