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My rubber cackles in the darkest closet of his attic. Until my scrunched diaphragm is weak

at his cockeyed shaft. He think he a sharp shooter,

darting at me with all this teethless talk.

But I seen’t the way he comes

out at night. Abased jaw ajar

waiting for slobber. Pants down

to the brim of his ankles // His whole body molts

when I ain't one of his quiet toys. When I bend just inside the grasp on his frame. There ain't no surprise

why he don’t pull out his knot & stretch me

over his gizzard mouth yet. He loves

everything he is. Too infatuated with his own sweat


Low down niggas love to call me

out my name. Forget they used to chase me

‘round the block / hunt me down

in their bedrooms. He says grown

like he know what that is. Like age ain't nothin

but some extra bone & dead

skin. He licked the static off

my shine last week. Head in high praise

as my nectar dribbled down his throat.

I can still smell my dew on his hardwood

floors, on his burlap altar,

on his blasphemous breathe.


He claims to know me better than my shadow does;

I made a sun from my shade & This nigga ain't neva been my “daddy”. He ain't even been the perspiration

on Jesus’s brow. He ain't neva been a name /

dominates nothing but dust bunnies. A nigga

puts his mouth on your spout & thinks he becomes

what you prayed for. // Forgets I defy

gravity, Forgets I push the air when i slide in

the room, Forgets I love

to tell God what he didn't do right

the first time. He pulls my string

so he think he owns this breathe. Assumes

I float for him.


I never swallow to live. I duttay-wine with the moon

& suns shower me in Golden

Orchards when their bones are stiff & ripe. I am that nigga with no hunger // that bitch who lives past dusk

& dirt. You wish you could

annihilate me / split me down the arc of my spine

I am the fetish boys try to wash off

their third eye. You a flaming flamingo,

a scorched banshee, a howling martini

of bursting driftwood. You throat

deep like me. You’ll stay hooked: backbone wired, hung

to the corner of your closed casket. Saliva sulking,

Catching jaundice, Festering orgies

of maggots. & I watch / he explodes.


GOLDEN is a black gender-nonconforming trans-femme multimedia artist and poet raised in Hampton, Virginia. Their work centers using mediums of photography, poetry, and zine-making to dissolve binaries that exist around gender, race, and sexuality. Golden is a 2018 Winter Tangerine Fellow, 2017 Pink Door Fellow, the 2016 NYU Grand Slam Champion, the 2018 House Slam Grand Slam Champion, & was apart of the 2017/2018 NYU CUPSI Championship winning team. Their work has been featured on/at The Offing, i-D, Interview Magazine, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Washington Project for the Arts, & Photoville. Golden holds a BFA in Photography from New York University.


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