A Brief Meditation On How To Breathe
By Sunday T. Saheed
as a boy who wears black as skin,
i’ve learnt three words all my life /
three ways to not get under a cop’s
knee: cry, hide, die--& leaving breathe
behind isn’t a mistake / it’s a sign that
even breathing carries a fine for people
of your color. Nowadays, all we check
is a cop’s shoe for an anatomy of a body’s
response to soil / how many men still
carry their breaths around / how many
more will lose theirs tomorrow, to a
wet carnation of who peels a man’s
skin better. In each scenery, Godot
never appears / we become a rosary of
swollen beads / supplicating to God, to
christen this color I wear anything but
black. For a black man, everywhere is
summer. rigged. fractured…
By Sunday T. Saheed
Once. a lipstick learns how to fit, lopsided, in a lip
of divorced smiles. a hand points to a kopje, a
dog coughs a bark out from its nostrils, & a
mascara cusses its color into a panoramic eyelash.
the truth is that there’s no truth hidden into what
ashes survive a war—this body is no body: a cat-
ridge for a genealogy | tabula rasa | & the
hypothesis behind a pristine body is an influx. fake.
my sister-in-law wears more bone than skin.
& when she knots her hair into ponytails, she
becomes a finger that doesn’t carry a wedding ring,
swallows her nose / & allows the rest of her
acclivity be what drowns all the air in the room.
i’ve been taught supplication, with sand, for years
that this index finger has become a bald-faced
hornet building large papery nests in the hole
god hides / to sleep / to catch beads of gentle
breath. what i know, i know—we’re all mouths
fluxing into too much requests, & even god
has (t)his order in this row of confession
Sunday T. Saheed is a 17yr-old Nigerian poet, reviewer and smudge artist. He is the author of Rewrite The Stars: a collection of poems which was listed by Konya Shamsrumi as one of the top ten books by Teen Authors in Nigeria, 2021. He is a member of Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation and a recipient of the Nigeria Prize for Teen Authors Award, 2021. He studies English Language in Lagos State University, Nigeria.
Sunday T. Saheed’s works have appeared or are forthcoming on magazines/journals including Rough Cut Press, Brittle Paper, The Temz Review, Salamander Ink, Arts Lounge, The Lumiere Review, Poemify, Comstock Review, Afrocritik, SprinNG, Rigorous magazine, Ice Floe Press, Synchronized Chaos Magazine, My Woven Poetry, Aster Lit, Pop The Culture Pill, Kissing Dynamite, The Beatnik Cowboy, Trouvaille Review, Augment Review, Spirited Muse Press, Gyroscope Review, Giallo Lit, Open Skies Quarterly Review, Kalahari Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Open Leaf Press Review, Re Side, de Curated, Applied Worldwide and others. He was featured in an anthology compiled by Litlight, a literary organization in Pakistan.
He is also an asst. editor for The Nigeria Review (TNR), and a poetry editor for the Teen Lit Journal. He was a finalist for the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange, 2018 wherein he had the opportunity of meeting the Nobel Laureate —Prof. Wole Soyinka— in his great Ijegba forest; The New Man Gospel Writing; Wakaso Poetry Contest; The Breakbread Literacy Project and BKPW contest
If Sunday T. Saheed is not found writing, he can be found reading poetry or prose collections, watching movies or enjoying comedy skits on Facebook. He can be read on linkfly.to/sundaysaheed or reached on Instagram @poetsundaysaheed