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for Simone Manuel
your sport is wetness
muscle glides through
making a splash
the buoyancy discussed was
always both body
and brain was always
the beholder’s heaviness
* Black people are not good swimmers “because they don’t have they buoyancy.” – Al Campanis, former baseball executive.
21st Century Goddamn
Everybody knows about Baltimore
Everybody knows about Staten Island
Everybody knows about Cleveland
Everybody knows about skittles
Everybody knows that if I die in police custody
I did not commit suicide
EVERYBODY knows about Ferguson
Who knows about the 129th Corps Support Battalion, about DC, about Tallahassee, Rantoul, Tusla, Plymouth, Plantation – yeah, Plantation, Florida –
not every body
comes out of this alive
Rosamond S. King is a creative and critical writer, performer, and artist whose work is deeply informed by her cultures and communities, by history, and by a sense of play. Her poetry has appeared in more than two dozen journals and anthologies, including The Caribbean Writer, The North American Review and The Cortland Review, and an upcoming issue of Drunken Boat. Her manuscript Rock|Salt|Stone is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. King has performed in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and throughout North America. She is an Associate Professor at Brooklyn College and author of the award-winning scholarly book Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination. King wants art that shows us who we are and reveals who we can be; her goal is to make people feel, wonder, and think, in that order.
“I love myself” first appeared as part of Duriel Harris’ guest blog on the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet site.