Safia Elhillo

after Danez Smith, with a line by Ol’ Dirty Bastard

if you read this in red maybe i didn’t
survive every day i go missing one
eyelash at a time or sometimes all
at once & in the heaven for
blackgirls gone away we walk in
& out of rivers & wear our good silks
our good brown velvet bodies dripping
with sunlight we sprout leaves & no one
decides for us to cut or keep them we
bear fruit & self-sustain we tread water we
pluck the moon for our hair & another grows
in its place we are sistered or unsistered
but never again to a dead thing somewhere
a rope turns & turns & our feet never touch
the ground somewhere a song plays & plays
& names us with each touch of a needle to our
round black surfaces
i’m hanging out /partying/with girls/that never die

Last updated September 27, 2022