Saturday Sep 23

AzizaBarnes Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, she currently lives in Bedstuy, New York. You can find her work currently or forthcoming in PANK, pluck!, Muzzle, Callaloo, Union Station, Phantom Limb, The Rumpus, and The Breakbeat Poets, among other journals and collections. Her first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize and published from Button Poetry. She is a poetry & non-fiction editor at Kinfolks Quarterly, a Callaloo fellow, a graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and an MFA candidate in Poetry at University of Mississippi. She is a member of The Dance Cartel & the divine fabrics collective.
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After We Drank The Table



I keep having this dream where you’re demanding I give you a blowjob & I say, “no,” & you say, “okay.” In the dream, you’re very tall. In life, you’re very tall. In the dream you look like a tree if trees were black men and could intentionally bend over black women & ask them for sexual favors. So, you didn’t look like a tree. I’ve never been in love with you, so I haven’t collected the nuances. Can’t set a table full of your name inside of other nameable things. A table of Twista lyrics. A table of fried chicken & not enuf shea butter your elbows are killing me. A table of you’d like to buy a house right now to say you own somewhere & can point to it with your hand, then your other hand, then your bank account. A table full of bourbon & that’s the closest I know you, after we drank the table. That’s dehydration. That’s a kitchen sink. That’s a bird & it can’t be more beautiful. That’s a delusion. That’s a small mind. Pick it up. An ovary is the size of a walnut & maybe I dream of you because I’d never make a family with you, but you think about making families a lot more often than I did & now I don’t know if I can make one without words like “rupture” & “surrogate” & “adoption” coming into play. Let’s come into play. There’s this woman I love & I have to concentrate to dream about her or she walks right out of my head. Stay. Stay one night. I am very adept at giving men blowjobs & maybe it is the act of giving I am disinterested in more than penises at large. I’ve spent a long time learning to do things that do not serve me. Stay. She always leaves me giggling at the door, tattoo of a flag across her whole back underneath a coat that I am disinterested in. Come here. At large, I’m not very good at loving intimately. With my whole body. I see her name on my phone and I think, “this means something” more than what it means it means she’s calling you answer your phone. I can’t fully dream of buying a house without dreaming of making some kids, “but I’ve seen my ovaries & baby, it’s not looking great,” I say to no one in particular. I am increasingly less interested in penises. They’re so abrupt on the body. A shock of land. I’ve never entirely understood or trusted land. I was born during an earthquake & have a single interest in pressure.