Danez Smith

I would like to take a moment to thank my mother for never attempting to get me help when I opened a door she didn’t know I knew & became maybe a little closer to the daughter she always wanted as I killed her son to give birth to her son as I entered a land God turned to salt with my tongue leading my feet as I shuttered into a new skin his not mine as I bloomed cotton wood its cummy scent in the air flower like a stale towel boy turned rag turned god she turned to God & thank Jesus Jesus didn’t tell her to beat the boy back in me or fill with me thunder until I hungered only for pussy until I wasn’t pussy until a prayer was nailed across my throat until the sugar in my blood turned to pig skin beer more blood whatever men obsessed with being men think they are made of whatever God they pray to who tells them they must knuckle & skitter away from the open palm of a man shaped thing mouth open another mouth open a boy is a kind of hallway if a hallway could exist without a building a tunnel I guess so thank you mama for not filling me with dirt until I knew what I was but couldn’t be it how bottled water must remember when it was sky & Atlantic how even the smallest dogs have the instinct to hunt and howl how you can take the faggot out the boy but that won’t keep the boy from burning


she wrote me a little note

told me she still loved me

& was kind & slow with her questions


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