Issue Three: Sheikha A.

Evil Eye

Cotton-wrapped camphor
burns on the stove again

supposed remedy for this –
ward off the name,

the spirit
ward it off, don’t bathe

on Tuesdays and Saturdays
don’t go near sea water

on days you should sully prayers
don’t step on stray garbage

especially a shred of black cloth
or a sealed envelope of lemon

and chilli – ward them off
cover your hair, don’t let them

eyes fall on its beauty
those that never praise the lord

those whose tongues are spotted
of curse

those that summon premonitions,
they who eat

your soul in nibble-sized bites,
don’t stare – don’t watch –

don’t let a cat smell your blood
and take away your womb

I have been recounting my steps
as my hair falls out in full,
undead strands

what belief did I override

for the spirit to escape
the cloth that tried to ensnare it

and return on the stove,
gleaming red eyes through

the fast burning camphor

One thought on “Issue Three: Sheikha A.

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