A Poem: ‘ran thru’

to receive him was to be his
homies’ too
their fable country’s sudden gate
let them glee raid

we ran a train on that nigga
i be the event
trained, surely
willing tunnel
able grave

host the kick back
the house party
hospital after set

we took our pills for this

follow, he says
open, say another he
nigga, another

i say to me: i know what i’m supposed to be
porous & siren, bridge of their brotherhood

empath, table, text
a sight

door of beads

barely a door

so i blur

lose my edges

just loose color
& sound

 

Danez Smith is a Black, queer, poz writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. Selected as a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts fellow and 2017 National Book Award Finalist, Smith is the author of “[insert] boy” published by YesYes Books and “Don’t Call Us Dead” published by Graywolf Press. They have had their work featured widely on platforms such as “The New York Times,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and “The New Yorker.”

This piece originally appeared in ALIVE Issue 1, 2018. Purchase Issue 1 and become an ALIVE subscriber.

Photo credit: Attilio D’Agostino.

More poems:

“Welcome” by Steve Abbott

“The News” by Stephen D. Schroeder

“Triptych for An American Backyard” by Jay Erickson

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