If you delete the last text they send you
Without ever opening it
You can believe
You made them up in your head.
If you decide that the doorbell is broken
And refuse to get another
You will not know that nobody
Has been ringing it for a while.
If you put enough family pictures
On all the wallowing white walls
You can convince yourself
That you don't come home to an empty house.
If you go back to your life
After every prayer
You will know why God stopped listening.
If you say someone’s name
Too many times
You can forget
That they’re not here.
The Terror of Small Things
They won’t come near you.
All the small and slimy things
Are more afraid of you
Than you are of them,
Look, how the roaches scuttle into darkness
To escape the threat of shadows
The spiders detangle from their webs
And the lizards crawl back into the highest shelves.
Child, look, how small in front of you.
Small, meaning harmless
Meaning they will die easy
Meaning they will perish without turning
Your memory into a crime scene.
We learn to live with the small things
Because we can kill them anytime.
Prepares us for the terror
Of a small thing
Zainab Wahab is pursuing her Masters in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She writes poetry and enjoys baking for family and friends.