writing Black oppression poems are easy hanging fruit so i eat it for dinner most nights my whole life rewriting the same poem over and over political shadow boxing at 1:40pm all my broken pieces fit into space symmetrically the holes in my brain are constellations i’m tryna swallow stardust and see if Black people float constellations are glittering cigarette burns adversity diversity attention whore my fear is easy hanging fruit fucked and plucked and served on a platter when the peach drops in the autumn wind, i ask myself am i flying or falling but it never really matters i’m being ate, whole and pit buried in the dirt boombap clapback Black gurlll when i spark the end of a blunt the open smoldering end looks like the sun breathin n’ hizzin smoke the wind waters my eyes sweeps the ash away i’m wading in ash i’m filth, ass to earth earth to ass, root or unrooted i’m so scared i could eat the sun contradiction constellation cunt buck it's easy hanging fruit to cry about my body all my beaten pieces fit into space symmetrically the bullet holes in my brain are constellations my funeral pyre grows strawberries i’m a magical nigga beating to death a poem infinity is where i go to heal all this unbelonging
“And this is for Colored girls who have considered suicide, but are moving to the ends of their own rainbows.”Ntozake Shange
Me and the girlies say “bitch ass hoe” like a spell Learned girl power from Cheetah Girls 2 We sistas with different daddies and genitals Smoking lavender joints and drinking kool aid outta coffee mugs Obsessed with boys, and boobs, and booze My bitches are a cold glass of apple juice on a steamy summer day A brand new vegan leather coat for the fall And candied almonds in the winter We giggle and make smoke rings in the chicago chill Our lipgloss and edges frozen over All we got is platform docs, socks with holes, and no gloves Love, lust, and work in the morning Messy bitches that lie when the moon is in retrograde And only cry in the shower My homies make me stimulus check happy 24 inch brazilian birthday bundle excited Yall is street poetry Love Jones dripped in neon techno color Cheetah Girls to Panthers So baddd we scare the whites I’ll bury yall hoes in the gucci store And play Homecoming at the wake Witches who can’t magic away poverty or depression But can manifest a free bus ride Unapologetically bitchy Black femmes Ghetto fabulous high art We gonna live feva
About the Author: Imani Marie Joseph is an interdisciplinary performance poet and grassroots activist from the Southside of Chicago. She is passionate about storytelling, sculpture, afro-futurism, and police abolition. She’s currently at Oberlin College studying Creative Writing and Politics with a minor in Africana Studies. This past summer, she was a field organizer for GoodKidzMadCity and a researcher for Warehouse Workers for Justice. In addition, she is a teaching artist that has worked with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and The Hyde Park Art Center. When Imani’s not writing poems, she’s visiting museums, reading science fiction books, and upcycling vintage clothes. IG: @imanissworld
About the Illustrator: Peregrine Bermas is a creative and curious earthling living in their birthplace, so-called chicago. Their practices include illustration, ritual, somatics and herbology. As a community herbalist, Peregrine is passionate about holding space for remembrance of ancestral, kitchen-accessible and bioregional medicine.