Mikey Cody Apollo

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.

                        Wait.

I realize this after another black man
is shot on camera in front of his girlfriend
                                                               and his daughter.

The video,
                            it haunts my Facebook
                                                                               for days.

Lingers like a ghost
is shared like toys and secrets                                 let out of the bag,

like
                         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,
taught children,
                     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 grills
                                                                              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
                                                                                                                  and exposes
him.

Black boys be some type of magic,

 

whether they drug dealers
             or teachers
                                                        or homeless
                                                                                                                 or child.

Armed or unarmed.


                                                                                             Ain’t that magic?


The way they disappear and reappear
                     in hashtags,
how they are suddenly evaporated
behinds white hands and officers.

Black boys be allusion most days,
and the only way I can keep them

                   him alive

                   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
                 but beautiful.


“13 Nudes: A Recollection of Nightmares”

Based off Anne Carson’s The Glass Essay

1.

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.

2.

I do not tell my therapist about the recurring vision

of the man in my closet.

3.

Every time I close my eyes,

my room goes up in flames.

I am not sure if I am doing this on purpose.

4.

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.

5.

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

miss him.

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.

6.

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.

7.

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.

8.

Zombies do not eat other zombies.

Zombies do not waste calories on the dead.

9.

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.

10.

After Blake and I break up,

I stop dreaming of the ocean.

 

11.

The zombie dreams are not funny anymore.

12.

Sometimes, I don’t know why I wake up scared,

but I would rather wake up scared than not at all.

13.

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?”

I reply,

“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.

*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