palm slashed and dripping,
i am seated on the bathroom floor, alone.
a fabric of darkness only i can see
is so close it could be the skin clinging to the immediacy of my bones.
there is the sun, too, breathing through the window
for a glimpse of this different kind of deflowering.
there is always a silent treacherous witness to these things.
it’s a song pouring out your computer on a starless night
it is the woman next door, whom you called mama,
who sprayed a song over your childhood like
scent over flowers
it is she, peeping as
a male body sheds trust like garment,
tries to pour into your 6 year old self that first night, one hand
back and forth on your back like the sound of many soundless things breaking.
other times, it is god watching. watching. from above.
there is always a silent treacherous witness to these things
today, it is the sun
By Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu
Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu’s work has appeared on Ake Review, Brittle Paper, The Bitter Oleander, After the Pause journal, Eunoia Review, and elsewhere. She’s a 2018 fellow at the Ebedi Writers Residency in Nigeria, and is currently pursuing a law degree.