Three Poems – kiki nicole


How to be Black

dream of gunshots
the ones that go through your own head and keep moving
the ones with bullets embedded in your brain
the kind that are engraved with your family tree
dream  of   murder. 
remember, genocide is generational                 
the same blood rushing out of your head and into the street        the street           the streets           our streets
remember who you are
genocide is in your blood

and everyone can smell it

they just choose to ignore it.

What I Think About When I Think About My Body

I consider this body to be a little too much for me. 
I consider this body 
and I shudder.
I consider my mouth,
how it feels too empty.
This voice is too soft for this body;
it is young and doesn’t know how to say “No.”
It does not know how to take up space.
It still trembles at the sound of Man. It will not listen to this body.
This body should be hard
This body bold
This body brazen
Voice like thunder
Voice like boom box
this body                               Black body
I’ll sing the Body Electric chair
I sing, 
and this voice hangs on poplar trees for a beat too long
I sing Don’t Shoot;
This body says otherwise.
Body heavy, 
Voice choking on concrete
Body can’t breathe
Body not strong in the ways you want it to be
Body tired of being brave
Body only Black 
Body like midnight
Body like Killing Time

When I Say “I Hate White People,”

what I mean is I’m tired
what I mean is even breathing is becoming exhausting
what I mean is this skin keeps laughing at me and I don’t know what to do anymore
what I mean is there is always a thunderstorm going on in my throat
what I mean is these hands are never allowed to be soft
what I mean is clenched fist
what I mean is swallowed tongue
what I mean is the mirror keeps saying I ain’t shit to my face
what I mean is too heavy
what I mean is there is no home for us
what I mean is there is no shelter
what I mean is safety is an urban legend I think about when looking at the cracks on the sidewalk
what I mean is sidewalks are usually coffins for dead black bodies
what I mean is this body cannot be a home until it is no longer a threat
what I mean is gunshot wound
what I mean is my white friends will not feel this ache in their chest 
what I mean is grieving is such a lonely condition
what I mean is I think it is my permanent condition
what I mean is I think I have a phantom limb for a heart
what I mean is we die everyday 
what I mean is I am dying a silent death 
what I mean is I am dying everyday
what I mean is I had a nervous breakdown today while parting my hair
what I mean is tears
what I mean is never enough
what I mean is I will never be enough
what I mean is exactly what I said in the first place
I mean never mind,
                it doesn’t matter.

About kiki nicole

Kiki Nicole is a poet currently residing in Portland, OR. Their work has been featured on The Pulp Zine, Bitchtopia Magazine, and Voicemail Poems. Find more of their writing at View all posts by kiki nicole

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