Skip to Content

we all gotta eat.

By Justice Ameer

even ants go to war.
been thinking about it all summer, what it means…
i mean how human. or maybe how ant.
maybe nature begets violence because we all gotta eat.

yo i was on trains all weekend.
and lord, got sick on an empty stomach.
acid tides creeping up my throat.
but no, i didn’t eat the train food.

on the hill, in the college,
we poured gallons of slop into buckets for the pigs' feast.
gross chunks, all fresh waste, an unholy stew…
and so much of it.

they’re looking at the port again.
Southside stays loud saying they don’t want it.
but y’know, folks can’t hear colored voices and well...
garbage needs a place to go.

every member of my family has mentioned my belly to me this year.
as if she doesn’t wake up with me every morning.
as if i don’t gaze at her lovingly in the mirror.
as if i should worry if she looks full...

call me callow, i just don’t think something living should go hungry…
not when we’ve made so much to eat,
with armageddon’s gas stove,
on a table we’ve slaughtered the world to build.




Listen as Justice Ameer readswe all gotta eat..”

Added: Friday, May 19, 2023  /  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