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6: Angel Nafis

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Why R&B First Thing in the Morning, Why R&B Above All

by Angel Nafis

because crooning is the breast milk of the motherless & all the birds are black
because the whole whiteworld a birdcage & my wicked is my sugar is my alchemy
because my nipple is certain against my bathrobe
& my round gut is full off my own dreaming

because breakfast sustains hope & the first meal is this: tomorrow’s a rumor
because the low of my back believes what the sea told it
& prayer crowds in the nook of my sway

because what is promised raps at the window & field field field sky sky sky
because the ball gown boasts the beating & my own undecorated love belongs
because i must begin with this…….a breaking that fix

…………… the slow cut of first sun my name is
……………..a wasps nestmy bones, endangered, sweet
……………..a pill under god’s tongue.

Copyright © 2015 by Angel Nafis. This poem was originally published in The Rumpus (2015).

About the Author

Angel NafisBorn in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Angel Nafis is a writer and the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and her MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day, BLACK FUTURES, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader and elsewhere. Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, a Creative Writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. She is the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. With poet Morgan Parker, she is The Other Black Girl Collective, an internationally touring Black Feminist poetry duo. She teaches at the low-residency MFA program at Randolph College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Queer Poem a Day graphic

Queer Poem a Day

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Sharp Minor by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

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