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Saida Agostini

About the Poet

Saida Agostini is a queer, afro-guyanese poet and clinician. Her work spans heartbreak, black love and the icon Prince.

A Cave Canem Fellow, she is currently working on her first book exploring the intergenerational trauma of Guyana's 1963 Race Riot.

Saida's work has been featured in the Beltway Poetry Quarterly and Black Girl Dangerous.

Spring 2016 »

my inheritance

is a genetic freak lineage blossoming
hyperactive cells aaaaa growing in the dark,
leeching on to organs with a power to
break the gods down. there is a magic
in this no test tubes can divine how to mimic,
no tears can break away. my father thinks
it is god growing inside his body, railing for a test
of faith beyond rage. his bathroom counter filled
with candles and biblical verses, a single page of
scripture triumphing over science.

who is the emperor of our bodies? what dreams
are left to be had/ tested inside sterile labs
that can wreak genocide on blood.

today you showed me a picture of the tumor,
precise lines of veins flesh and matter, your
forefinger pressed against the center, mapping a
divine biography marked out before you were born.

granny cut off her breast, my mother her ovaries
uncle ralton gave up his tongue and still passed on speechless
twelve months later hushed in his own white bed.

I don’t want my father to die.

you say one day they may cut you open, and I wonder
what it is they will take/ what part of my body will
I cut to live/who will witness the
exorcism of demons from my cells-
I can’t bury you.




adventures of the third limb

I want to name our cock chocolate thunder, tammy thinks
I have lost my mind. I see our cock as a blaxsploitation heroine
resplendent in the finest of neon spandex, draped in golden chains
and a velvet cape, stiff in resolution to kick any jive turkey punk
muthafucka ass into submission.

our cock has framed pictures of prince on the wall, and listens
to deon estus to show her sensitive side.

she is fluent in seven languages, drinks dos equis, can paint, sing gospel,
praise dance and is head usher at the church of dynamic discipleship.
our cock is the renaissance dick, and if you are looking at her sideways:
bitch, what has your cock done for you lately?

our cock doesn’t hide when company comes, stalks out butt naked
in sequined pumps, shining with lube, sits spread eagled on
the dinner table and says embarrassing shit about things she
would do to kerry washington.

and when everyone else leaves, and only the three of us are left,
all limbs and laughter, she pulls me and tammy closer, our pussies
climbing up her veined girth.

this is how we fit together-loud, tight and eager, our wails her
composition, agitated aching notes-accesso and broken
chord. in the studio later with smokey, outfitted in a double breasted
stacey adams suit, matching gators, pinky ring and straw panama hat, she’ll share a blunt, play cruisin while talking shit about how hard we came,
the scent of wet sss -but in that momentss
oh! sss my love!


what it takes to breathe

for m.

I have snored so loud I made friends weep for my next breath, swear
there is a whole carnival alive in my chest, aching beyond ribcage, to where my heart
lays smothered in veins, and fat--the swollen lungs seated, a fearful and
ready king above it all, gasping for a new swallow of breath to crown its life

imagine all this machinery just to breathe

a whole map of an exquisite monarchy drawn and refinished every time
my lungs expand.
ssssss-truly, there should be royal balls and prince singing adore each time I wake
everything is alive and green, the whole world thronging in ready with applause

I am foolish and tired, and cannot help but blush at the strangest things-
like the dawn of your eyes
greeting mine.

imagine all this machinery just to love



~ Saida Agostini
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