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t for t

By Justice Ameer

/ he asks me how it feels /
it’s no simple curiosity
nor a question without consequence
phantom of longing lingers so
subtly on the last syllable

my throat resists reciprocity
i don’t offer myself an opportunity
for envy

the question
isn’t about sex / it’s about biology
 for a boy with what he has
 & for a girl with what i have
we mitigate the gender fucked lines
with breath between our chests

he asks me how it feels
and i don’t know how to respond
i’ve never really thought of it in words
only distance / how close
how long / coming before going

i was never taught to vocalize
this pleasure beyond metaphor
 i could speak the shape of velvet
 against my palm
 name the soft of his
 skin under my lip
but / i have no telling word
for what it’s like to be in / him

he wants to know what he wants to have
i too wish i knew
how his space moves and bends and gasps
i don’t ask / 
his answer will never satisfy my curious

we have almost all the right parts to make an ordinary couple
but we lie / in sweat and questions and morning
wanting to trade pieces
/ just for a day /
just to know how it feels




Listen as Justice Ameer reads "t for t."

Added: Monday, February 3, 2020  /  Used with permission.
Justice Ameer
Photo by Ally Schmaling.

Justice Ameer is a poet and facilitator based in Providence, RI. Xyr writing explores the experience of being a Black woman in an apocalyptic America, and refracts queer fluidity through desire, history, and relationship with nature. Xe was an Artist-in-Residence at Williams College in Spring 2020. Xe is a Pink Door Fellow and previous faculty member. Ameer is a co-creator of the theatrical production ANTHEM at American Repertory Theater’s OBERON. Xyr work can be found in Poetry magazine, Split This Rock’s The Quarry, The Nation, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic anthology, and various other publications.

Justice Ameer was a Featured Poet for Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness (March 26-28, 2020) in Washington, DC which was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Split This Rock began a virtual poetry reading series in May 2020 which included a reading by Justice Ameer, Kyle Dargan, Trevino L. Brings Plenty, and Cameron Awkward-Rich on June 11, 2020.

Image Description: Justice Ameer wears a red-striped shirt dress and stands against a tan backdrop while tilting xyr head to the right with xyr eyes closed and holding xyr braids in xyr right hand.

Other poems by this author