by Danez Smith
stare so long they gotta growl
faggot to justify it. that f-sound
just an excuse to bite they lips.
dicks hard as consonants in dickies.
question mark thick, you fuck they head up.
damn desire that sneaks you into laundry rooms
strikes you in the street out of fear of itself.
they disrupt themselves with your body
& call it your fault, bury you in night
but darkness is temporary dirt.
with the sun comes the news of you.
i wanted to write an ode. it still could be.
but first, a little silence for the ones
hurried into after cause some dude
felt his blood rush on sight
& it was the first time he knew he had blood.
not even the razor taught him that
not his daughter’s birth
not his clotted mammy, not Christ.
just like a man. he saw god
& instinct told him kill it.
Copyright 2017 by Danez Smith. All rights reserved.
See two more poems by Smith debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle: “niggas” and “For the Dead Homie.”
Read more in this issue: Interview | Critical Essay | Writing Prompts