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poem: BLACK WIDOW

from our poet of the month: Mehnaz Sahibzada

scared in the night

Getty/mythja

"Each time I turn a page, / my skin seems to shiver. / Each time I blink, / my lashes are spider legs."

BLACK WIDOW 

I keep the bedroom door
locked. The lamp
on my nightstand barely
glows. All evening long,
the rain pours haikus.
The hallway seems
a throughway for ghosts. 

A book of spells
lies open on my
bedspread. I read
a thriller instead
of planning my lessons.
Nibble three cookies
in the dusty swirls of light. 

Living alone, I am
prone to spectrophobia.
My heart senses the wax
and wane of each moon.
Shadows drift through
my mind like spent coins.

By 2am my heart becomes
a light switch. The footsteps
grow slighter, but never silent.
Each time I turn a page,
my skin seems to shiver.
Each time I blink,
my lashes are spider legs.

Listen to Mehnaz read Black Widow:

Mehnaz Sahibzada shares her experience of poetry with S&H:

"I aim to merge the simple with the thrilling in my poems.  The ordinary is re-imagined through a gothic atmosphere and humanized by its very strangeness."

Select poems from My Gothic Romance by Mehnaz Sahibzada. Copyright © 2019 by Mehnaz Sahibzada. Reprinted with permission of Finishing Line Press. 

More poems from Mehnaz Sahibzada:

CONFETTI

TWO VOICES

HANDLE WITH CARE


Mehnaz Sahibzada was born in Pakistan and raised in Los Angeles.  She is a 2009 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow in Poetry.  Her work has appeared in numerous publications, such as LiminalityMoiraThe Literary HatchetEllery Queen Mystery Magazine, and Pedestal Magazine.  Her first full-length collection, My Gothic Romance, was published in April 2019 by Finishing Line Press.   A high school English teacher, she lives in southern California.  To learn more about Mehnaz, visit her at www.poetmehnaz.com


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