Saida Agostini

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Saida Agostini is a queer afro-guyanese poet and activist. She is the Chief Operating Officer for FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, a survivor led artist collective dedicated to resisting rape culture. A published poet and writer, Saida's work is featured or forthcoming in the Black Ladies Brunch Collective's anthology, Not Without Our Laughter, the Baltimore Sun, pluck!, The Little Patuxent Review, and other publications. Saida has received fellowships in support of her poetry and resistance work from Cave Canem, the Leeway Foundation, and other institutions. She was recently awarded a Ruby grant to support the development of her first full-length collection of poems, uprisings in a state of joy. 

Bresha Meadows Speaks on Divinity*

god is a black girl
who once had to kill her own father.
say the social workers, listened with kind
white eyes as she wept, her bare skin
a constellation of ripening bruises. say
god shuddered on walks home. ran away
fifteen times before she was 13, sat in
tight airless rooms hustled up in sleep clothes
and stank breath, repeated
her rosary he beats us he beats
us he beats us he beats he beats he beats

how the counselors shook their heads, asked
questions like does he hit you with an open
or closed hand
, buttoned their good
woolen coats in the blind ohio winter
took her back home. when god comes to school
wailing breaking chairs screaming he will kill me, a chorus of
white women hover round her
confused lovely angels, pronouncing
her name a supplication.
god cut herself to
remember how history changes
he will kill me to are you sure. how
she dreamt at night of
trees, running, her mother’s
head cleft into galaxies of blood
her father’s hands thick dark laughing
rocks carving their flesh again and again
her mother begging her not to tell, says
he will kill me and god can’t stop
imagining the sweet jump of a trigger.
god cried over her father
sleeping, gun in hand, how
the bullets exited the chamber, how
he died saying her name, god
bloody and keening on the floor, her mother
screaming a break knitted
into the end of a heartbeat. god’s arms
around her father. god is a black
girl in love with living, a sacrament on how to
disbelieve, forget and rise.

*Bresha Meadows is a 14 year-old Black girl convicted of killing her abusive father in self-defense

Posted on April 18, 2018 .