Dark Lady Poetry - Ahmed Adam Shamma




Ahmed Adam Shamma




The Feast


it started at the epilogue

when the scavengers sniffed the quiet air

and the lukewarm blood was their invitation

they came in packs and swarms

the jackals, the worms, the roaches, the crabs

to the charnel paradise that awaited them

in the streets of every town and city


now the flies are fat but always hungry

and the sidewalks teem

with the writhing of maggots

the rats make their homes

anywhere they please

in this vast buffet of viscera

and above it all

vultures dry their wings

atop the hollow buildings

looking down like

judges of the dead


no guns fire

no engines roar

the radio screams silent static

all that is left

is the shrieking of crows

and the laughter

of hyenas and god




sometimes it glares back 


sometimes it glares back at us

the madness beyond the peel

when we are within ourselves the loss of purpose

and the going-under that comes with it


it is the unknown

it is death

it is infinite void

and it is the blurring

of the lines that separate


and all things


like fingernails stuck in the walls

of the Auschwitz showers,

when our screams turn to a gurgling of bile

all we have made will become

a part of the endless absurd





The City Augur




The city augur sees more in the faces on
trains and buses than the seers of old ever
learned from the stars and tea leaves.
She can read the writing on the asphalt and
understands the wisdom in the flight of
pigeons and the entrails of road kill.

Solitude is her snake oil balm, and she
startles at footsteps, the jangle of keys or the
snicker-snack of a door that opens without a
chime or recorded warning.
She can imagine no greater heaven than the
promise of a beer back home, and no greater
hell than the intrusion of other people upon
her lonely meditation.
She might not notice if everyone’s skin were
covered in poison; she cannot remember the
last time she touched another without

She knows the only sane response to such a
boring, depressing world as this one they
have built is to live perpetually bored and
There are little cures for this, little white and
little green pills, and these the City Prophet
fears more than anything else for they are
essentially a cure for sanity.

Certainty is a gift reserved only to the
perfectly lucid and to the utterly insane, a
common trait that blurs the distinction
between the two opposites, and on the
coldest and darkest of nights when sleep
won’t come, the city augur wonders as she
shivers whether there are really any
differences at all.

She appreciates ugliness, almost to the
extent that she is beautiful.
She hates the company of other people,
almost to the extent that she needs it to

She considers sex and happiness both utterly
unnecessary and overrated, constantly
craving both.

The night sky should be an inky and infinite
abyss, the blackness between the stars a
reminder of the extent of our purpose, but
when the city augur looks up, she sees a
vulgar purple veil bleached by sodium
streetlights and stained by neon, appearing
close enough to touch from the tallest office



She knows a secret so great that if she even
tried to whisper it, it would tumble out as a
howl loud enough to burst your eardrums.
She sometimes feels the secret crawling
along the back of her teeth, and, by biting
her lips until she tastes blood and scrunching
her eyes until purple and green dragons twist
beneath the lids, she can, just barely, keep it


The secret tastes like a shaggy beard crusted
in stale sugar, looks like an ambulance’s
flashing lights, sounds halfway between a
scream of agony and your father’s name.

She laughs to keep from crying, and when
she can no longer laugh she will cry to keep
from screaming, and when her tears have
run dry, she screams to keep from shutting
down completely.


When her throat is in bloody tatters and she
can no longer scream louder than a hoarse
whisper, she will do the only thing left in
this world for her to do


Each person, with no exceptions, has enough
blood in their body to write their last and
greatest secrets, and not one drop more or
less than that.


One day she will dip a fountain pen in her
own blood and write down her secret for the
world to know.
The world will find her, white and fragile as
porcelain, a book sitting in front of her open
to the first page, its letters scabbing brown.
It will begin: “Humankind wasn’t meant to
live this way…”










Ahmed Adam Shamma, 21, is a United States sailor currently stationed in Charleston, SC. His work has been previously been accepted by Danse Macabre du Jour.