Poem: "Magical Negro #80: Brooklyn" By Morgan Parker

"Give us this day we light soy candles / for dead brothers."

Here is the bright, young food co-op.

Here is the steeple. Here are the royals

not yet dead. Here are the Niggas With

Amethyst crystals. Shea butter

halos orbit half-shaved heads bowed

for vindication. Our mother patchouli

who art in the apothecary on Flatbush

hallowed be your Dutch wax dress.

Give us this day we light soy candles

for dead brothers. Give us this day we soak

our supremacy wounds.

Give us this day.

Give us fresh juice green

as avocados, and strength

to dismantle Fox news. We are marching

even in our sleep. We are reading

DuBois, getting high off the salt eaters.

Thy kingdom come to yoga. Thy will

be a black feminist Tumblr. Thy will is not

our struggle. Forgive us. We have gathered

to learn to pronounce freedom.

Procession body roll, communion oysters

with prosecco. Roses for our waist beads.

We have moved away from suburbia.

Now we live on Saturn.

We don’t pray anymore

the way our parents taught us.

Instead we stack our arms

with wood and music

hatches from our tongue rings.

Hymns for the dead, hookahs for

the almost-dead. Praise our half-lives.

Our bodies break but we still sage them.

We wrote the good book: instructions

for building new worlds.

Lead us not into white neighborhoods.

Deliver us from microaggressions.

Blessed are we who mourn, we who

are a blood built on a hill of embers.

We no mail-order hipster black wife.

We just trying to text our moms.

We are what we eat, leafy and anointed.

We are who we serve: banquets and bouquets

forever, foreverever, foreverever.

Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. Her second collection, There Are More Beautiful things than Beyoncé, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in February 2017. Morgan’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in numerous publications, as well as anthologized in Why I Am Not A Painter (Argos Books), The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books), and Best American Poetry 2016. Winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize and a Cave Canem graduate fellow, Morgan lives with her dog Braeburn in Brooklyn, NY. She works as an editor for Little A and Day One, co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series with Tommy Pico, and with poet and performer Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. www.morgan-parker.com

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