I stand in my orange

bricked Brooklyn Apartment.

Age: 12 Queer but not out.

Not even to myself.

I hold my hand to my thin

chest to feel every beat of my heart with closed eyes.

With every pump that I feel, 

I hope that it’ll give me a clue. Or maybe even an answer. 

Or possibly, It’ll speak to me in some kind of 

spiritual dialect only I can decipher.

With every thump of my young heart, I beg it’ll help

answer the question

that’s seared onto my tongue and

imprisoned with my teeth:

“where do I come from?”

Even now, Age: 21 Queer and very much out, that question still 

coats my throat like melted honey. It almost chokes me. 

This inquiry, similar to my Blackness, 

is frozen in amber. 

Like a thread unsewn to yards of fabric,

I am connected to broken roots that I must weld together (slowly and with care)

with my blood and

anxieties to form a map to a buried lineage.

A buried lineage that will open the gates to Home.

But what is home? 









My Blackness will forever be trapped in

a cultural purgatory, where the air is thick with

Question marks and the water tastes of salted ancestral tears.


in that state of stuckness, dialects were constructed by big 

beautiful Black lips and smooth vowels and consonants that 

sit in the very air we breathe.

Food traditions were passed down through eyes and memorization.

A cultural garden has bloomed in

soil that has been denied water for centuries

to form archaic genetic webs that grow and thrive in the lungs of Black bodies alike. 

And whenever the question “where do I come from” comes violently scratching at my skin, 

I simply reply, “from everywhere and nowhere because 

I am historically connected to a diaspora that is in constant motion and

to a heritage of electric kinship”


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