3 Poems by Bello Haneefah


A Study of Our Madness

it becomes difficult to tell the difference    between
my mind and a
townhouse burning
to the ground    maybe /to be mad/
/is just another name/ for the last time/ I /
tried to write a poem about hope
how my fingers curled – stiff to fists – thinking this
was another war      and a poet should be a warrior of words
but what do you do when your first tongue is violence?
-fists clenched, teeth bared-
ready to snap at the next
to claw at the edges of
my mind and so I       stopped writing about hope
hoping that my madness    would not mistake this for a betrayal
/knows how death tastes /maybe give us a hint/
/some of us want/ to levitate and just/
fade away


You never actually die from a broken heart
like you
die from a bleeding vein – say
the last thing in my refrigerator is
acid       say I like how it burns,
tongue and teeth melting every time I take a sip, say
I like it this way. Acid
scrubbing my mouth clean off ?
every time I let our tongues play hide and seek.
And this already sounds too much like
a heartbreak. Say.
I was good to you, say
the next time you take a guilt trip
get me a bottle of acid and some cigarettes.
I will go to your garage one last time
fingers corroded, acid dripping
say, I’ll get a spanner and_
say I’ll try to_
say I’ll try to fix this mess
“easier to drink more acid,”
comes the voice from under your car.

On Being Claustrophobic

like yesterday morning
and every other day
he expects you to
couch his phallus in petals
and say “yes, I’ll open me up for you to pour your failures”

This is how you know
you surely, most definitely,
need to have an extreme,
irrational fear of confined places.

Bello Haneefah is a writer, poet, and Law student at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Some of her works have been published by Nantygreens and Brittle Paper. 

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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