How Death Operates, a poem by Fadairo Tesleem at
Javad Esmaeili

How Death Operates

How Death Operates

written by: Fadairo Tesleem



A day, before or after the black &
blank night my father’s body
turned cold/ before his body kissed
the soil, he registered his fears -to my face-
& told me of death, as a magnificent
fence _of terror_ and as a weird,
wide and wild electrified bridge
he would ne’er have the power to cross.

This same day, he raised impotent alarms,
Of seeing death’s ghost, unharmed!
hunting his soul/fastening his time/ &
hampering his breath.
He told me death awaits him at the entrance,
& all I saw was the ending edge of –
grandma’s mischievous wrapper.

I was there when death sneaked in/
torn his flesh with his thorny hands/
& turned him off, I shed blood/ vomited my heart/
& carried my emptied bag of despair
& buried my grief, it was the first time
I caught death in the act,
The first time I saw him feathering a
soul into his wilderness.

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