At almost 40 I have learned.
My timorous silence buys me nothing and costs me everything.
Many of my stories are-
niche and urban because Blackness weaves in all of my words.
At almost 40 I will never be their darling.
I am the loud mouthed destroyer.
Knee jerking my way through rejecting Whiteness and Gringpo and Conpo and Thinkers in favor of Readers and Lovers and Blackness and my own voice.
In my own voice-
My shitty handwriting and days of jaw clenching awareness of what the lit world hates about me today.
In my bullying and abuse of the power structures built upon my back.
At almost 40 I traded in my need to be seen for my big fat fucking mouth.
Traded it in to publish an imperfect and beautiful thing with my favorite Femme Boy.
Traded it in for harassment and White women blocking me on social media because I am perpetuating racism by talking about it.
I traded my mainstream ambitions for strength and clarity and obscurity.
At almost 40 I have armed myself for war.
Armed myself with-
Poems that be too personal.
Stories that shit in the general direction of traditional Western Lit.
I am armed.
I am dangerous.
A Prayer for protection.
I am armed and mother fucking dangerous.
Protect Vanessa Place.
Protect Kenneth Goldsmith.
Protect The Paris Review.
Protect The New Yorker.,
Protect colorblind slush piles.
Protect racial nepotism.
Protect Kate Gale.
Protect Michael Derrick Hudson.
Protect White Feminists.
Protect literary niche darling rapists.
At almost 40 years old I have learned the price of my own silence.
I will not pay.
At almost 40 years old I have come to know that I do not belong to them.
I will not hand over my history and future.
At almost 40 years old I have come to know the feel of my weapons in my hands-
Between my legs
In my skull.
At almost 40 I have come to know how to be thankful.
How to be ruthless.
How to be unstoppable.
At last I am thankful.
I am alive.
I have a voice.
I have survived.
I am almost 40 years old.