*2017 Weed Poem Winner – Goddess X

Other Side of the Cage


one day

i will take a bus

to denver colorado

smell the thin air

coated in the stench of liberal white folks’

spotty memories

dump as much purification oil

from the nearest black-owned witch shop i can find

in the basement of every white-owned

million-dollar business

that sells marijuana

and set the city on fire.

i don’t know how to fiddle

but i’ll sing a song while the city burns

whatchu gonna do when they come for you?

the work ain’t honest but it pays the bills

what we gonna do when they come for you?

but i… but i…*


i’ll forget the words but the melody will be sweet enough

to give me/to give the whole city

a cavity

to cover the stench of smoke

and violent memory in the air

i will be captured and handcuffed

and probably gagged to stop the music

it reminds them of liberation

of promises broken and they are supposed to be

The Good Guys

an fbi agent with a mean mug will shove me

into a poorly lit interrogation room

we will talk

about america

i will tell him that i stood my ground

i will tell him that they were making their own communities

like black wallstreet

that i was threatened

i will tell him about the black woman in alaska

facing decades in a cage for the crime

that made them all of their fortune

i will sing him a sweet song

and his mean mug will melt

into confusion

these are things he can’t remember

then the world will call me terrorist

and i will laugh

because it’s funny

this was patriot’s business last

night burning cities built

The Land of the Free

i will laugh

it’s funny

how quickly they forget

a sweet song

how death row’s echo is loud enough

to give cavities

how the brothers i am caged with

haven’t seen a dentist in years

how white folks with perfect teeth

never seem to listen


don’t worry baby

i know there’s confusion

god’s gonna see us through now

peace after revolution

you do whatchu gotta do*


goddess x

*lyrics in italics from erykah badu’s other side of the game

Goddess X is a sad sick​ queer black witch, storyteller, diasporic transfemme, Pink Door Alumna, survivor, sister, student, repping the African diaspora. She has just published her debut book of poetry, Blk Grl Sick, which can be purchased at createspace.com . Her work centers on blackness, queerness, trans womanhood, sadness, and joy. You can follow her on twitter @GoddessX23