qi'ar/ra as the hanged man cotton brands my achilles heel rope indecisive titans round my ankle i sway back of my head just misses the trunk’s bark arms braided cross my chest i sway yellow itch purples my foot heel-to-toe await numb light bulb crackles below my head pools with blood/i sway gather gentle wind grateful limbs can keep a promise my eyes settle on clouds mirror the candle i burned to get here a dry cough gifted to me the last wildfire the dog-mouthed froth i refused the day i went mad/i sway closer to the clouds cannot keep my seat cushioned— an obscene obsidian assigned soft not delicate— i am gawd i require no particular comfort/so i sway ascend worth a measure of flesh-bodied asés forgiveness my mother-orphaned grandmother wax-coated temple floss unlimited lovers honor their limits raccoons & cornhusks acknowledge i am human bullets disintegrate at conception divine masculinity unlocks cages birds sing their own names poets eat hunger hunger satisfies an opus of you are enough’s i sway before altars rebuilding themselves
Nefertiti Asanti is a writer, cultural worker & occasional performance poet from the Bronx, NY. Nefertiti is a fellow of Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC (2015), The Watering Hole (2016, 2017), Lambda Emerging Writer’s Retreat (2018) & Anaphora Writing Residency (2018). The Queer Cultural Center commissioned Nefertiti's writing and performance work Black Blood Is… for the 2017 National Queer Arts Festival. Nefertiti has also read poetry for the 2018 Honeysuckle Press Chapbook Contest. Nefertiti’s work can be found at Winter Tangerine, AfroPunk, Foglifter, & elsewhere.