The Haunting – By Shaheeda Asma’u

Many à nights I have
Cut myself open —–
I have taken this heart in hand
Cleansed it pure with
The tears of old lovers
The ghosts of my dreams
Who have danced on my flesh
Bruises I cannot hide anymore
Make a mockery of my joy

Though nights of mourning
Have come and gone
The sunrise always gifts
Its promise of birth
A chilly morning breeze–

–The night of my first death
Suicide came calling
In faded pill sachets
Dancing in a cup
Too big for my lips.

To my dismay,
My teeth made an
Armour before my throat
Hanging onto life
More than I yearned for death.
Two fingers down
An empty throat
Life pulsates through my viens
We assume death is far away

I sleep with eyes wide open
Waiting for Azra’il to dare
Looking for the air
Around an Angel that hides souls
In his pockets
I would stare him down while
He does his deed
If I should let the cut sink
A little deeper into this body
Could the pain go away?

Chased by nights
Of Rendez-vous with the reaper
That could not be fulfilled
My legs grow weary—
—Scribbled notes that
will not be read,
I swallow each word
And make my belly a tomb
Read as eulogy for all the nights
I have sworn to forsake sunlight

I could not kill myself
And life is undeniably cruel
Could this haunting
Be exorcised?

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