7.12 / Queer Three

Two Poems


listen to this poem

Dear Mrs. Thompson,
Sorry if you ever tasted the salt of me
when you kiss your husband good morning.
I hope it didn’t taint your coffee
or make bloody murder of your lipstick.
I killed your marriage, and you
deserve to know that
he is not everything you prayed for,
but maybe his sweet kiss morning
is enough.

Dear Thompson,
Your ATM code is 9976.
Your family owns one Honda, one Ford,
all 3 of your children have bikes.
You have a fireplace,
3 copies of People magazine,
at the top of the stairs your children’s room is to the left,
the guest bed to the right,
your room straight ahead,
all your walls are white
like lies,
everything smells like lavender,
you have really nice sheets.

Dear Mrs. Thompson,
Your husband pays me 50 extra dollars
when I bust on his face,
25 more when I kiss him after.
I have never seen a man scrub so hard,
his skin red like the sin he’s trying to exfoliate.
He never brushes his teeth.
Can you taste his shame?
Did I bitter the back of your tongue?

Dear Mrs. The Bitch (as he calls you),
I imagine your scalp
adorned with 300 grey follicles,
one for every dead president
your man slaps on my chests,
his hand dragging until on the pillar he prays to.
I’m sorry for being holy to him.

Dear Mrs. Clueless
Sorry if I ever took food out of your children’s mouths.
If they have ever gone hungry
because your hubby feasted on me,
let me offer them the groceries I bought with his sacrifice.

Dear woman,
Have you ever wondered
why it takes him long to get dressed?
His outfit must be perfect and able to disguise.
He can’t leave the closet
until he can’t recognize himself.

Dear Mrs.,
When your husband tells you the bruises on his neck
are from bar fights, that’s my fault.
I have choked him twice.
Once because he asked me to.
The second time, he called me his nigger child
and I choked him.
Yes, I still came.
Yes, he came harder.
Yes, he paid me extra to apologize.

To Whom this may concern,
Have you ever fucked your husband
from behind?
I have, when he’s been a bad boy
cause it hurts him more,
but most of the time he is on his back,
he likes to rub my chest
while I gut him.
I wonder does he rub yours
when you are laying and open
and lied too.

Dear Ma’am,
You look lovely
in the pictures next to the bed
he turns face down.
Your smile bright as starry country night,
never let him cloud it.

Dear, Dear, Dear Sweet Woman,
I feel like we are family now.
I say this because I love you:
Caution the way his hips grind
and teeth part in his sleep.

Dear Mrs. Thompson,
I fuck your husband twice a week.
He pays me.
He is lying               next to you.

Dear you,
He called me your name once, Ann.
I just thought you should know.

10 RentBoy Commandments or Then the white guy calls you a nigger,

listen to this poem

but not just any white guy, the one
who’s paying you, and not just any nigger,
but his little nigger child.(Never let a 50 dollar trick
do 100 dollar shit.)

You can’t deny he owns you
for at least as long as you are still
black and deep in the dark of him.
(Remember the terms discussed.)
So what do you know now? (If you failed
to discuss, know anything goes.)

You know he thinks of you
as a lion or AIDS or anything
scary and African to him.
(When anything goes, don’t panic.)
You know he thinks of you
as his son, which makes you scared
for his son, the thought that he could
want anything sweet to be this wild, wet,
and trenched in him. (Dazzled him,
even while dying inside him.)

He still called you a nigger,
but so what? You still gonna get paid.
(Respect or Groceries.)
You still gonna answer
next time he call. (this is money.)
You still broke? Still piss –on him– poor?
But you got clothes on your back,
brandy in your coffee mug. (Drink.)
Is it worth it to stop this history mucking
your skin if you ain’t you gonna eat?

(Pray soon.)

But this is all after thought,
it takes you ten seconds
longer than him to realize your hands
around his throat, ten more for you
to notice white mess on his stomach,
ten more for you to cum too.
(The customer must always leave satisfied.)

Danez Smith is a Cave Canem Fellow living in Madison, WI, where he recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin. He likes tattoos, food, reading good poems, sometimes he writes one too. He's been published in PANK, Vinyl, Radius, and other places, and is a regular contributor to his mother's.
7.12 / Queer Three