There is a photograph of my father riding out of the sea on a dark horse. It was taken long before I was born and it formed one of my earliest longings as a child, to get to the ocean, to reach the point where land is no more.

I do not know where the photo was taken or where the copy was because my parents passed years ago. Yet as Kaduna, the city I had just moved into plunged into a total lockdown last year (becoming the first African city to do so) I thought about the photo and…


A love story

Image: Cameran Ashraf / Getty Images

When the mercury retrograde came two Decembers ago, I was twenty-five and madly in love.

Step 1: Do not argue with those important to you

She liked my left eyebrow. Her middle name was Rose but she thought it was too cliché or something. I thought it was cliché and beautiful. Our first physical meeting was anticlimactic. We both loved Drake’s “Sacrifices,” so I planned to start singing it the minute she came to pick me up from the reception of her hotel. But she made me wait too long. After all the things she planned to do with my body we hugged as though we were friends. “Do I…

TJ Benson

Spirit Husband + Prince of Supermoons. Stories on Catapult, Transition and more. Visual Art @TJBenson_ The Madhouse from Masobe Books/Penguin Random House SA

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