Poet-Today | Hauwa Shafii Nuhu | The Arts-Muse Fair


the night you fell into
as he recited off his memory on your request
saying each word as though
tendering cream on loved skin

his voice sailing like faith; calm
rising at sharp edges
resuming its pace soon after

that night,

there was the way he wrapped silence
into your pores while he read
there was the way your heart
quietened even more at each word

and there was how he came slowly
to the last line that reminded you
of tides

but it was in the silence that followed
that stood there like a comfortable hole
that you fell

indecisive clouds

the guy you just posted about on facebook,
the indecisive cloud
moving towards you on the street yesterday,  
and asked you to let him stare at you for a minute

yes, him

it's because since his sister died,
with half his name in her mouth like a bread loaf,
he finds her in the space
between the teeth of every gap-toothed woman
it's why he will marry a gap-toothed woman
but it's why he will leave her soon after

it's why he will not understand how

the same sky that rains  
can hold a burning sun

the cabinet

the one time my heart snapped me in half,
it held me where i was thinnest
between its thumb and forefinger,
and reached a hand up the cabinet,
pulling down the tablecloth
upon which i arrayed the original versions
of everything i knew

sitting beside myself later, and trying to patch us back,
i saw in the open mouth of each stitch
that even if we survive the lesions from
people who once made jelly out of us
we will not the deceit and treacheries of our hearts


Hauwa Shafii Nuhu’s works have appeared or are forthcoming in Brittlepaper, Ake Review, Eunoia Review, After The Pause journal, Saraba magazine, The Bitter Oleander Press, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a law degree.