Soot and Damp, poetry by Sunday T. Saheed at
Justin Essah

Soot and Damp

Soot and Damp

written by: Sunday T. Saheed


no bloody scene here,
or the display of grief —I promise.

I won’t tell of the cat I said
gnawed at my reflection yesterday,

or the hole on my cheek,
dug deep —that pours my blood, gut, spittle and withhold

prayers. I’m not here to
show you the resin of the weight

of my pains
& I won’t tell you

how heavy they were,
heavier than sixty-two rhinoceroses

say, how they choke my
breath and the line my soul is hung on

—my viscera, my innards
I’m not here for all that.

tell the Lord for me,
be the old woman in my dreams.

the pains I’ve endured is enough
—my body is no longer a sponge

that absorbs pains as drops.
I don’t think I recognize peace again

is it a shadow that laps the wild
wolf behind our brain?

or is it a lapis, or a marble
I might stumble into? & I am blind of that.

tell the Lord for me,
I want to clutch my fingers into its belly

& rip out its guts, so that they might
dry on my fingertips. Won’t I know

peace if I taste the sweeter part of its
blood —the stomach?

& won’t peace become the fish
& I, the aquarium?

say, I shall house peace.
—I shall house peace & build a shed.

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