jabari says fuck that, harriet wasn’t trying turn the underground into henrietta’s. but shit, I want a hero, a full on black queer woman setting fire to slave ships, cursing out white motherfuckers and going home to love on phyllis hyman’s fine assed great great granny. i want a history where harriet and sojourner get together and make cataclysmic, head banging good god kind of love while luther serenades them, with skin so shining it looks like he just swam all up in johnsons and johnsons to get there. him singing to them, his sequined blazer the north star they follow hand in hand under the cover of knotted trees and vines rising up to hide them. the glow of lightning bugs, grasshoppers humming as luther executes a smooth two step to wait for love-prince behind him humping the stage. and that moment when sojourner bends down, cups her hands, dips them into a running creek and says, c’mon harriet, drink, watches the soft pulse and bend of her woman’s neck as she feeds sweet water from her palm- and thinks someday I’ll make me a poem about how I love her. That night the first time they found the salt to kiss, during intermission while luther reapplies his eyeliner, and prince takes over the mic crooning baby baby baby what’s it going to be tonight, sojourner and harriet latching onto each other’s bodies, sucking nipples like they deliver honeyed wine, hollering a blue joyful streak in answer to prince over and over again.
Added: Thursday, June 8, 2017 / From "Not Without Our Laughter," (Mason Jar Press, 2016). Used with permission.
Saida Agostini is a queer afro-guyanese poet and trashtalker. She hails Luther Vandross as the king of silky smooth R&B. She is the Chief Operating Officer for FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, a national artist collaborative dedicated to resisting rape culture. A published poet and writer, Saida's work has been featured in the Black Ladies Brunch Collective's anthology, Not Without Our Laughter (Mason Jar Press, 2017), the Baltimore Sun, pluck! The Affrilachian Journal of Arts & Culture, TORCH Literary Arts, The Delaware Poetry Review, and other publications. Saida has received fellowships in support of her leadership and poetry from Cave Canem, the Watering Hole, Core Align, and the Leeway Foundation amongst others. She is currently at work on her first manuscript, uprisings in a state of joy.