The Prelude

by Sarah Uheida

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I have waited/ until I could not/ and then wandered into the cave of language/ left my skin outside and sank into a word/ that resembles living/ a word/ that looks like put that gun down/ a word/ pronounced as peace/ I have waited/ for the sky to brighten up/ for a god to giggle through the grey/ until I could not/ and then I frolicked into a reverie/ where the sea has never been touched/ a reverie/ blighted by beauty/ air the colour of water/ a cigarette stomped instead of lit/ my hands steady as they hold certainty/ my lip not quivering every time I say tomorrow/ I have waited/ in a dress made of want/ for a love that could unzip my inside/ until I could not/ and then I lit all the candles/ served myself dinner in the cutlery I used to reserve for guests/ I lit all the candles/ felt nocturnal as space/ feasted my eyelashes on the wishes they could make/ with all this eyesight/ all this abundancy of breathing/ like my heart never needed another’s to do what it already does/ I have waited/ to thank this life/ all my life I have waited/ until I could not/ and then I waited no longer/ and that was that/ 

The Prelude


Sarah Uheida’s “The Prelude” appears in Flock 24.

Sarah Uheida is 22 years old Libyan poet and experimental memoirist who received her Bachelor of Arts in English Studies and Psychology from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. At the age of 13, Sarah and her family escaped the Libyan civil war and immigrated to South Africa where she is still currently residing. She was the recipient of the 2020 Miles Morland Scholarship as well as the Dan Veach Prize for Younger Poets. Her work features in literary journals such as New Contrast, Eunoia Review, The Shore,, Plume, the South African, Sonder Midwest, Stone Thursday, Everyday Fiction, Wend, and Atlanta Review.