Skip to Content

After the George Floyd Protests, My Strange Dream

By Faylita Hicks

Crawling out from between the legs of a woman
with my name still wetly slathered across her chin,

I cradle the lewd silk of our venom
up against the hot swell of my caged chest, wade out

through her front door, into the murky billows
of the damned and the damnable,

march up the street past
the Autozoned and the Targeted

into the arrest of our uncivility
—the arrest of our love—

a Black light of adoration
thrown from the branches of our capitol,

my transfigured husk swinging
over the blooming crowd

of lavender orchids: soft constructions
of my ungendered generation

shuddering beneath the red
of the rocket’s permanent glare.

Falling into a hungry field
of fertile sediment

—where from all of our mothers have come—
I drown in the burn.

Only in death am I then allowed
to name myself,

to lay down and rest:
a sojourn of this country’s smoldering years.




Listen as Faylita Hicks readsAfter the George Floyd Protests, My Strange Dream.”

Added: Friday, January 27, 2023  /  Used with permission.
Faylita Hicks

Faylita Hicks (she/they) is the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the poetry collection A Map of My Want (Haymarket Books, 2024), and the debut memoir about their carceral experiences A Body of Wild Light (Haymarket Books, 2025). Hicks is also the recipient of fellowships, grants, and residencies from Art for Justice, Black Mountain Institute, the Tony-Award winning Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Civil Rights Corps, Lambda Literary, Texas After Violence Project, Tin House, and the Right of Return USA. A voting member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, Hicks’ poetry, essays, and digital art have been featured in American Poetry Review, Art At A Time Like This’ “8X5 Exhibit, Ecotone, Kenyon Review, Longreads, Poetry Magazine, Slate, The Slowdown Podcast, Yale Review, amongst others.

Image Description: A person with short, wavy brown hair smiles into the camera. They are wearing a zebra-striped top, a red scarf, and a beaded red necklace. In the background is a painting of sharecroppers and a small ancestral altar with a burning candle.

Other poems by this author