THE STARLESS NIGHT
My night carries sleeplessness, I shut the door lid of my eyes to hunt for sleep only to see this brutal memory peeping into my head, I tighten my shut eyes; still it appears in its whole form like I had welcomed it.
It sits in my head, putting each scene on repeat, daring my strength, smirking at my weakness.
My mouth becomes full of sobs, shoving the tears down my throat, its bitterness and saltiness itch my lungs. My eyes don't remain arid for so long, the relics of the pain drags tears from eyes with chains. My pillow mops the tears and stories my mouth can't hold on to. It opens its arms to embrace my head in its warmth.
I stand up and carry myself from my bed, the cold ties lap my feet in each step as I go to sit in my study. My shivering hands make for my pen and flip the pages of the sleeping book to a blank page. I guess our life is a book of blank pages waiting to be filled with the actions in each day.
Here I am, writing. I hate poetry as much as I love it. But I had grown tired of curling my body to sleep again and again as the memory kept crawling in. I hate writing because it has a loud mouth. It tells everyone what I am feeling. Sometimes I wish I could cut its tongue and make it dumb but I'm unable to and I love writing too. It heals me, it's therapy, like when you breathe in and out to find relief settling in your distorted bones. After writing I feel painless, like I have defeated all my worries and I have won this battle again. Still I remember it's a parrot I decided to be smart with. I never said the cause of my sleeplessness, I never talked about the memory that visited me whenever I tried to sleep, I never talked about the weight of worries in my heart. I never talk about how I whisper prayers for this burden to be unsaddled from my shoulders. I could outsmart writing and say I'm a wife hunted by my husband that I had killed as self defense when he never stopped punching me. I could write that I'm a child who ran away from home after stabbing my step dad who tried to rape me. I could tell my pen to say things that are not part of my story. Anyone who reads it will have catharsis forcing tears out of their gentle eyes, part of the tears will be for my struggle, part will be for the nothingness that I made into my ending.
Azeezah Olatunde is a creative writer from Lagos. She has published at Knowislam.com.ng, ISWOT (Islamic World Of Talents and Creative Writers) Magazine, The QuillS, artmosterrific chapbook, Undivided Magazine, Rasa literary Review, subsaharanmagazine.com, and Iwitness.com.ng. She was shortlisted for the PoesyWriters contest (2019). When she is not writing, she is reading or listening. Her pseudonym is PenTalks.