Saida Agostini

coffee with a married woman

i nurse my coffee, and
imagine your breast;
your jagged cry, a bluesy hymn
what joy we find in being undone.

we are both so hungry, it has made us foolish with grief.
i want to be full so bad it is familiar.

you tell me of a grown brother lost
in his own room/a father who cheats—
i make my mouth tender—say nothing
I ask about your wife until she becomes
more real than desire. replay in my heart
all the times my father came home
after laying with another woman
defeat in his eyes/my mother keening.

we must teach the heart to want less, how to survive on stone.


Saida Agostini is a 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. She is also the founding member of the Rooted Collective, a liberatory gathering of Black LGBTQ people to define, dream, and expand on the ways we heal from oppression. Agostini's work is featured in Origins, the Black Ladies Brunch Collective's anthology, Not Without Our Laughter, The Baltimore Sun, pluck!, and The Little Patuxent Review. Agostini has received support for her poetry and resistance work from Cave Canem, the Leeway Foundation and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. Honors include the award of a 2017 Rubys Artist Project Grant to support the development of her first full-length collection of poems.