i begin this poem, silvered-strewn,
as a feverish butterfly breaking wings
into two vertically opposite angles.
[â] softens its grip on the vertex, frail
as summer frocks, and sews me into
what seems like a quranic chapter
rewritten. here, i bypassed
starting a chapter with Allah’s name,
and began surah fatiah from walā dālin.
i have grown too scared of divergence,
a bougainvillea-colored sky moving me
to what seems like a song opening
for me and closing on me—little sighs
[b] undresses me into a hebrew tongue
where i find myself more concerned about
the revelation than the genesis. you
say all i care about is how it ends:
these characters trembling in my voice,
grey-haired, like Mom. embroidery of
a new name, because why not? i feel
i need something more specific, that
details me as a whole — like broken
(which has appeared more times in my
history than my age) the first time the world
creaked open for me from my mom’s
womb, i (broke) into tears, all soft vowels.
the first time i brought my feet to kiss
the land, it withdrew from me like
an echo. and there, i (broke) two bones.
this time, i’m writing this poem because
it’s the only way to be holy to god, clean
like a homeless wind. because. i’ve
(broken) all the prayers that made me.
Sunday T. Saheed is a Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation member. His works have appeared or are forthcoming on Brittle Paper, Rough Cut Press, Temz Review and others. Reach him on Instagram @poetsundaysaheed