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A Facebook notification smacked my phone

into a mouth of screams, & tunes, & rings.

 

a girl’s mouth becomes a cauldron full of 

questions [how’s poetry going?] —>>> do

under the sheets

 

i tell, that every poem i write is not a liniment

kissing my grief calm, penciling me a name i 

 

do not want to answer to, lest i become a 

scalloped tongue begging to know how a face

 

wears a smile properly? [how many poems

have you written?] —>>> one hundred, and 

 

an eight, actually. and 77 has my father’s 

name hugged into verses of gelded hope. &

 

33 has my mom’s name painting her blood 

into a white cloud, to remind God her son

 

still carries the scent of the soil he walks 

& 7 has my brother learning origami to make

 

a boat out of the pool of the water in his eyes.

[and 1?]—>> 1? 1 has me thinking if your

 

name will open a poem stained with grief 

better. if your hand will fit a lantern, wading 

 

through the night to look for which colour of 

bullet you should swallow next, and it does.

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I'm Sunday T. Saheed. I'm afraid of cockroaches and lizards.

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