niggas

by Danez Smith

i love those two g’s in the middle
hanging down like hands scooping
water from a river pink with dusk. i love
how it starts in the nose (ni-) then
runs to the back of the mouth
& kicks the soft palate drum (-ggas)
i love how it mean. & how it mean
that which is me & that which is
them over there & it make me
smile to think about all us
just black slices of the same black
bloodloaf. it do my heart well to think
on niggas, do my spirit good to
say NIGGAS! when i walk into
a room & be greeted with
warm dark that be the city
in the good arms of homies, little
bridges that clasped black hands
make, or how my nigga Josh place
his head against my head, how we
almost wear each other as crowns
ain’t that it? niggas make me royal
not like king queen, but like we
the court, like we all a diaspora
of knights at the table of our blood
with no king but our blood
like we the whole dang castle itself
& my skin brick & moat & arrows
pointed at the distance ready
to protect the two g’s of my body
& the g’s that made me
& the g’s they came from

 

Copyright 2017 by Danez Smith. All rights reserved.

&
See two more poems by Smith debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle: “fat one, with the switch” and “For the Dead Homie.”


Read more in this issue: Interview | Critical Essay | Writing Prompts

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