“On What It Means to Love the Drug Dealer” –
The most dangerous game I have ever played was simple:
Drive with unarmed black men in my car and wait.
Wait for sirens,
wait for flashing lights.
I realize this after another black man
is shot on camera in front of his girlfriend
and his daughter.
it haunts my Facebook
Lingers like a ghost
is shared like toys and secrets let out of the bag,
like weed let out of the bag,
like Xanex let out of the bag.
I cannot turn off the image of red blood
on this man’s white shirt.
Of censored faces,
and bodies that are too black, too explicit
to be seen by white eyes.
This man, he haunts my Facebook.
The photos are endless.
He wore ties,
did everything right and still managed
to lose his life.
So what does that mean for black men who ain’t that?
For the young boys that wear hoodies
and sell baggies?
I wonder this as I drive the drug dealer home.
Praise be the way he laughs.
A cacophony of flowers blooming and hip hop.
The way he is unapologetic in his moves.
I think of this when his eyes are red
and when his t-shirt is not.
The most dangerous game I have ever played was driving
black boys home,
A mystery of whether or not my car smells like pastime.
A shot in the dark,
in the dark,
in the dark skin that both shields
Black boys be some type of magic,
whether they drug dealers
Armed or unarmed.
Ain’t that magic?
The way they disappear and reappear
how they are suddenly evaporated
behinds white hands and officers.
Black boys be allusion most days,
and the only way I can keep them
is by holding him in my passenger seat.
I drive the drug dealer home.
In turn, I build a home in the drug dealer,
despite them making him villain.
Make him monster,
the way they make him everything
“13 Nudes: A Recollection of Nightmares”
Based off Anne Carson’s The Glass Essay
In my dream, my first love is drowning at the expense of his own hand.
He places his head beneath the waves, exorcises the demons,
and is baptized inside a cloud of bubbles.
When he floats to the top,
I am on a distant shore,
burying my toes into the sand,
unaware of his shipwrecked body.
When I awake, I am covered in salt water.
I remove a seashell from the back of my throat,
place it to my ear and listen
as he screams on the other end.
I do not tell my therapist about the recurring vision
of the man in my closet.
Every time I close my eyes,
my room goes up in flames.
I am not sure if I am doing this on purpose.
At first, the funniest nightmares are the ones about zombies.
They teeter like unsuspecting card houses,
dragging their rotting feet and bare knuckles.
They stroll right past me.
When my friend was dying,
I thought of ways to convince the hospital
to let me sleep in the lobby.
I needed a place to store all the waiting.
I did not want to miss anything
more than I knew I would eventually
The night before his funeral,
I slept so good,
you may have thought I was the one who died.
I am startled awake by his laughter.
Alex and I have been broken up
for two years.
In 0.59 seconds,
Google produces 605,000 results
for “dreams about drowning”.
“Repressed issues are coming back to haunt you.”
“You are feeling overwhelmed by emotions.”
Results for years passed between us.
604,998 more reasons to love him more than Blake.
There is a tiny voice
apologizing to the Devil.
I am not quite sure if the voice belongs to me.
I am not quite sure if I am asleep to begin with.
Zombies do not eat other zombies.
Zombies do not waste calories on the dead.
One night, I am in an elevator,
and right when it is about to fall,
I become conscious that I am dreaming.
I let it plummet anyway.
After Blake and I break up,
I stop dreaming of the ocean.
The zombie dreams are not funny anymore.
Sometimes, I don’t know why I wake up scared,
but I would rather wake up scared than not at all.
The goriest nightmare is the one where people
are stabbing themselves with needles.
Google says, “You need to mend a relationship or situation that has gotten out of hand.”
Everyone asks, “Which relationship? What hurts?”
“Where do you want me to start?”
“What We Fail to Admit”
Writing poems has always been more about others
and less about me and all that I do.
I have a heart consumed and smothered by lovers.
I’ll never write notes about myself the way I do you.
MIKEY CODY APOLLO is a spoken word artist who was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Much of her work revolves around her experiences as a Black woman and an intersectional feminist. Apollo has been writing since the second grade, and is passionate about both art and education. Her favorite film of all time is “Moonlight”, and her favorite poet is Kendrick Lamar.