By Sunday T. Saheed
old age doesn’t wear us off
our beauty, it soaks our tongues instead
with acidic rum of an earthenware till
taste is a myth we were once told.
in every raffia mat we spread,
we find cockroaches crawl out
of the thin lines between the earth &
our soles. This is the third time
the hefty man at the door rattles the bell
—the next ring, always louder than the
previous. Everything herein fleets
—black hair, strong gums & straightened
we know, that the day gets weary too.
& it tucks itself back into a sleeve.
the road is muddy & full of potholes,
so when we fall, there’s only a thing to be.
pick yourself up, dust up till your body
is a mirror of your retina’s glistening.
the worse is not yet done.
we were fed lies strapped in a moimoi leaf.
life is not a bed of roses --
your life is but a page in Slyvia’s novel,
you get torn —another bourgeons.
eureka, plant a bulb in every steps you
take. At the twentieth step, the earth waters
every trail. A fall is easy, or acacia might
blossom with full branches & growling lips.
at the fortieth step, the waterdrop becomes flood
& your bulbs shall be swept one by one
& the glisten shall fade into the sky’s tears
of you. Be gentle, be --
the carapace’s weight strapped to your back
is crushing you. Nothing holds you again.
not your fluffy hair, thinned eyes, bent bones.
Sunday T. Saheed, Author of Rewrite The Stars, is a 17-year-old Nigerian writer and a Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation member.
He was the 1st runner-up for the Nigerian Prize for Teen Authors, Poetry Category, 2021. His works have appeared or are forthcoming on Rough Cut Press, Arts Lounge, Rigorous mag, Kissing Dynamite, Beatnik Cowboy, Trouvaille Review, Augment Review, Spirited Muse Press, Gyroscope, Giallo Lit, Open Skies Quarterly, Kalahari, Cajun Mutt, Open Leaf Press Review, Re Side, de Curated and others.
He was a finalist for the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange 2018.