Ashia Ajani
“I keep a shotgun in every corner of my bedroom,
and the first cracker even look like he wants to throw
some dynamite on my porch won’t write his mama again.”

— Fannie Lou Hamer


I keep a piece of myself on the porch.
don’t test me. I have had everything ripped from my flesh
and still fix my gums to smile at those who wish me harm.
don’t try it. I am a nigga who comes from niggas and as such
I do not play. This body owns nothing– exists everywhere. You
can’t kill me. All the fullness in the world collides within my frame.
A grand unraveling never weathers me: can you say the same? My love
shatters anything that has tried to cause me harm. Ceremony predates
survival, so leave my flowers at the doorstep and dance until your
heart bursts into a thousand new iterations of Godliness. Fill my cup
with lilac wine where one can pull a Nina croon through
the window until a swansong of rage fills the walls and covers me
in honeysuckle rose. Give me all that I desire or nothing at all.
I want a new wig. I want a plot of land. I want a small win
that carries me through the rest of forever.
I am owed at least that.


Visual Art: Tommy Kha, Yellow Sand (Clara), Flushing, Queens, 2021.