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Harriet Tubman is a Lesbian

By Saida Agostini

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
Photo by Shanti Flagg.

Saida Agostini is a queer afro-guyanese poet and activist. She is the Chief Operating Officer for FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, a survivor led artist collective dedicated to resisting rape culture. As COO, Saida supports FORCE in sustaining and expanding its capacity to engage in survivor led movement building work. She is also the founding member of the Rooted Collective, a liberatory gathering of Black LGBTQ people to define, dream, and expand on the ways we heal from oppression. A published poet and writer, Saida's work is featured or forthcoming in the Black Ladies Brunch Collective's anthology, Not Without Our Laughter, the Baltimore Sun, pluck!, The Little Patuxent Review, and other publications. Saida has received fellowships in support of her poetry and resistance work from Cave Canem, the Leeway Foundation, and other institutions. She was recently awarded a Ruby grant to support the development of her first full-length collection of poems, uprisings in a state of joy.

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