For you I’d send my body to battle
my body, let my blood sing of tearing
itself apart, the hollowing cords
of the white knights’ intravenous joist.
love, I want & barely know how
to do much else. Don’t speak to me
about the raid you could loose on me
a clan of drunk rebel cells who thirst
to watch their home burn. love,
let me burn if it means you
& I have one night with no barrier
but skin. This is not about danger
but about faith, about being wasted
on your name. If love is a room
of broken glass, leave me to dance
until my feet are memory.
If love is a hole wide enough
to be a god’s mouth, let me plunge
into that holy dark & forget
the color of light. Love, stay
in me until our bodies forget
what divides us, until your blood
is my blood & your hands
are my hands, until our names
are the same song & our life’s work
be to lay & be, hum & die.
142 The Paris-American
Danez Smith is a Cave Canem Fellow, Pushcart Nominee, Survivor & Black Queer from St. Paul, MN. Danez was featured in The Academy of American Poets’ Emerging Poets Series by Patricia Smith & was a finalist for the 2013 RATTLE Poetry Prize. Danez is the author of hands on ya knees, a chapbook published by Penmanship Books. His full-length collection, [insert] Boy, will be published in 2014 by Yes Yes Books. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Ploughshares, Devil’s Lake, The Cortland Review, Anti-, & elsewhere. Danez started writing because of slams & necessity, & placed 6th in the world at the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam & is the 2013 Rustbelt Midwest Regional Slam Champion. Danez twerks with the best, has no time for the rest. He writes & lives in Oakland, CA.
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