lately i’ve been opening doors in slow motion
& find myself wearing loose white silks
in rooms packed with wind machines & dusk.
i have a tendency to be sad near windows
thinking of all the problems i have
with my man with his triflin yellow ass.
my man is more a concept than anything.
at dinner i watch red-pepper soup spill
onto his powder-blue button-down
& ask, why don’t you love me anymore?
i sit on the couch with a wine glass full
of milk, cry in ways that frame me gorgeous
& fuckable. my girls come over & we light
his suits to spark our spliffs. my best bitch
tells me i need to get over him, say he don’t
even exist, but what she know? i have all this
house to walk through, all these gowns to cry
on, all these windows to watch the rain.
there must be a man in this house who loves me
too much to do it well. there’s a room
in my basement filled with water & gold & that’s it.
water up to my well-managed waist
gold-link chains curl around my ankles
like a boa constrictor or the hands of a man
around a neck he once loved to bite.
i dip my head in, let even my hair get wet
& rise out the water Hood Venus
Afrodite, ghetto god with iced-out ropes draped
from my head & arms, covering my nipples
& ill nana just so. i could be a trophy for some
award show only niggas know, every rapper’s
favorite ex, 1996 given a body & he don’t
want this? i walk into my foyer cause i have
a foyer & say who is she, nigga? i promise
the hydrangeas flinch. my man is so fake
he don’t exist. my girls was right—the suits
we lit were mine, my man is all in my head
& it’s a bad head. tomorrow, after i run
& spend some time studying the mirror
i’ll burn this whole shit down
like Left Eye would, like any good wife.
whatever survives will be my kingdom.
i hope i make it.
From Homie by Danez Smith. Featured with the permission of the publisher, Graywolf Press.