Two Poems

Justin A. Davis


Sketch with Beetle, Pessimism, and Scorpion

My nation’s been designed
for a purpose, full of blood
and oil and evangelist
beetles. It’s all sad Drake
and mob-tied Drake and
dancehall Drake,
phallogocentric Drake.
Sad Drake has been whispering
into his doorknob. Mob
Drake’s dodging child
support and reparations.
Ever since I left the city
I’ve been driving
like the stranger I am.
I’m all here like two lips
holding a pill. A beetle
crawls up my wrist to ask
if I’ve been baptized; I have.
It’s asking me about vaginas
I don’t have. Look: a person is
a cloud hanging over another
person. I have no sympathy
for slave owners, poachers, or
the penny. Frank said I C
both sides like Chanel
and I see both sides like
a double album.
You know what I’m
saying? You know what
I’m saying?



after Young Thug

Money seeps from the most unlikely
and likely of locales. My mind,
for example. Bags and walls and ceilings.
Mantras exist solely to reinforce belief:
I done got me a check—yeah, I know. I got
a check—I’m sure you do. Your knotted
blond dreads flex at every paranoid
insistence on multiplicity. When there’s bills
on the floor, we all turn to animals—
that’s why my crew’s made of beetles, why
we prefer leaving it to Beaver in the clutch.
So check yourself if you’re worried, not these
swiveling doors of women, not these eagles
circling over your fame. Let me tell you,
you’re geeked out of your mind.


Visual Art: Naima Green, East 28th Street (2017)