The Vallum Chapbook Award 2016


Biographical Note:

Yusuf Saadi’s writing has appeared in magazines including The Malahat Review, Grain, Prairie Fire, PRISM, and Vallum. He also won The Malahat Review’s 2016Far Horizons Poetry Award. He recently completed his MA at the University of Victoria.





Yusuf Saadi

Excerpt from his chapbook
Sonnets On a Night Without Love


We were busy worshipping
words. Shipping worlds

through string. We held ear drums
to heart beats to confirm

we were still alive. Someone unchained
the sun from its orbit. We watched it drift

like a curious child beyond the Oort cloud. Dimming
until it was another star in the night's freckles

and even the day lost its name. We looked
at our hands with unfamiliarity. Trying to understand

the opaqueness of texture. Our molting bones
discarded. Our new elbows reptilian.

The latest language stripped of meter,
rhyme, beauty. We were warned: there are no straight lines in nature.

Women sang new myths. Men planted
numbers in the soil to see if the fruits

could solve our problems. We invented
new gods and crooned when we remembered

how to brush each other's hair. Music played
in a distant nerve. Insects danced

in a different hemisphere of our brain
or of the earth. We often tried to look up

but we could only see our feet
alien and hairless.



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