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So I guess that’s my name now I am progress in the way a scab is progress and this is what it is to be biracial conceived as a thin peace the body’s fragile truce to each well intentioned finger my body is just a precursor to an unremarkable red People ask what are you? and my skin parts eager to answer what my mouth can only rehearse everyone falls in curiosity killed the gaze In this way I am something sinister a shadow cast by a name in the right light I am technically everything I’m nobody’s ideal horizon I’m nobody’s ideal I’m nobody or too much of everybody I’m a kind of excess a gold chain greedy for the light a fat shiny river around the neck in this way I begin everywhere and nowhere I speak no Spanish I mumble every word is a translation for exile I make up for it I throb near oceans I speak inheritance fluently


Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He is a 2016 Callaloo fellow, Lois Morrell Poetry Prize winner and the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) Best Poet. He is also a cofounder of the Afrolatinx poetry collective Piel Cafe. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Offing, Winter Tangerine Review, Vinyl, Puerto del Sol and African Voices. He is a candidate for his MFA in Poetry at Ole Miss.

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