3 by morgan parker
Beyoncé on the Line for Gaga
Girl you know you ain’t that busy.
Without me you’re just two ears
stuffed with glitter.
Spoken gun your name
baby’s first words when she enters
swag up covered in
gunmetal spandex, cigarettes for eyes.
Say my name, louder
come into these hips
and live. Let
platform heels tightrope curves,
make Jiggaman jealous.
He runs the streets
I pour into them, weave first
fierce nymph of Texas
holy in black.
You feel me? This booty
is smooth running water.
I shake too thick for love,
push records like dimes,
rep the hustle slick as legs.
I know you like that.
I carry the hood up in this bling.
Soft brown fingers
got rocks for days. Lips glossed opening
for a special purpose.
You say Tell ‘em B
I open my legs, throw my shades on like,
Divas gettin money. Hard as the boys.
Give me all
your little monsters and I will burn them up.
Give me your hand
and I will let you back this up.
Tonight I make a name for you.
Rebirth of Slick
& solar I’m a moodless seedling
on the day Jay-Z was born
& Fred Hampton was killed
Watching TV and thinking “White people are crazy”
Watching YouTube and thinking “Kanye West
Looking in the mirror
Everything crazy is the best
It’s what I learned from Aunties
& empty bottles after midnight
The birth of a bullshitter
in dark lipstick & big dreams
It’s easy to be ravishing: don’t think
I am feeling smooth and twirl my wrist as such
Flock to me I ain’t scared
My bed is a cross between dancehall & fruit field
Everyone is on the list plus infinity
I was born this way: unsatisfied
My color is a bridge with no other side
In a second life my voice is a drum kit
Reigning over green hills like weather
I am king & anthem
I know how to relax
Sneezed on the beat
and blessed her self
Her love goes viral her love
of teeth and starched collar
Her husband is a baseball cap
She shakes his hand goodnight
She tips a bowing manicurist
who thinks she’s President
Her daughter is at the academy
wrongly pronouncing Spanish
She watches Turner Classic Movies
and sees herself there
Up in da country club she dines with friends
The conversation is breezy
Doesn’t look the waiter in the eyes
ordering vegan chicken salad w/ amenities
She sees into her past
The conversation is breezy
She’s been in the dictionary since
she was born her words Victorian highways
She’s un-revolutionarily flawless
Feminist approved she vacations daily
She woke up like with a million bucks
slipped into lacy panties it’s always sunny
Her husband is upstanding of course
The tabs call him Mr.
She performs the press coverage is breezy:
What rosy cheeks what milky vacancy
Her daughter learns about beauty
Discovers nothing surprising
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, and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Coconut Books 2016). A Cave Canem fellow, graduate of NYU’s Creative Writing MFA program, and poetry editor for Coconut Magazine, Morgan lives in Brooklyn and at www.morgan-parker.com.
YURIE SEKIYA is an illustrator living in Japan. You can see more of her work at hanamizz.org.