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Yes I’m thinking of a number between my nephew and Rikers. No, preeclampsia won’t woo my womb this year. I pressed my favorite ear plumblue with a flatiron. Nobody monitors skin’s phoenixing; it could’ve taken months for all I know of beauty. No I don’t remember that blood: suffix “ique” or “isha”? God no, I would’ve always kissed my mother’s mouth directly. My square acrylics glossed seventh birthday fire and lucky. I won second at the state forensics meet. Yes divorce (hurts to say) is cinematic perm-slicing. I will never take direction from daft blackwomen again. For my mother’s dementia, my teeth are too near distance. If she threw dyke with the jab, yes, surely some god-shaped sanction from the stovetop would help simmer me out. No, Arby’s takeout at daddy’s condo made our greed a papery song. Yes full custody first hatches as sexist jest, knock-knock joke of a cyclical waitress, and all this blaming has me missing my ex-girl, eyebrows threaded to Andes mountains. Outside her exhibit, a cry wakes concrete with clear motive. No I could’ve apologized? Overall I just want to know what being born of a colonialist means. Harriet used good lakes to camouflage as nothing. Some Igbos have nine iterations of a final name. Yes I’m thinking of a red salt voyage between my chromatin and Okoye. Yes my sisters and I wonder if in any given McMillan we’d constitute the torched Cadillac. Yeah, same fear that insinuates no true blackman ends himself. There’s so tiny of us, really–13% is flunking. Yes I’m a Mechanism of God. I'm so ecstatic to be black. Magnolias jet as my womb, jet as all February. I love being possible. Still, possibility matters. Ann Arbor broccoli treetops, a soft row of little m’s against me. My law school boyfriends do what most men in captivity do: build calf muscle, facial hair, seesawing Christianity. 12 of them love up on me. All crimes men do to end inside a woman again. Yes, it’s always homecoming “…when and where I enter.”
Courtney Faye Taylor is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her work appears in Witness and elsewhere.
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But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
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