By Kiki Nicole.
i open my mouth until it is again the mouf i was born with. let it all hang out with my bedroom door open. reclaim the back of the bus so everyone can hear the heavy of my consonants in each ear. the nigga's fall out my throat a mile a minute in some ambiguous accent nothing like the white girl voice i put on at work. on the phone. this nothing if not Black, if not ancestral, if not divine fury. often i am the only dark thing on the bus. in my house. how like smoke reversed i transform from thin air into burning thing.
I used to operate between two emotions: OK or not OK. I was a highly sensitive child that grew into a highly sensitive adult. Growing up, I made myself small to limit inconveniencing everyone else. Always the quiet kid, my white Teach for America teachers would pat me on the back when home trauma taught me to keep everything in. I was the product of so many black femmes. I became entirely to myself to make room for everyone else. I stayed quiet. They called me one of the “good ones.” In high school, I once made myself so invisible, I lost my voice after not using it for weeks straight. I keep my Hurt in a special place no one else can see and only I can feel. During my first reiki session with a Black woman, I was told I have an incredibly blocked throat chakra.
My childhood was spent in inner city Baltimore and we was all angry. Still am. When I harbor my pain in my chest, I feel safe, anchored by emotional cholesterol. Sometimes it feels like my heart is failing.
My childhood was lived amongst Black femmes who were so good at holding it together. I was/am a crier but that was a white girls’ game. I am tired of softness that doesn’t include my black ass hands slapping the walls and my own face in between tears. I am tired of softness that doesn’t include the hood black girls who would congregate on my stoop after we got out school. Who would walk up the street with me for Freezee cups, Hot Fries, and penny candy. Who was loud and sucked in they teeth with me. Who chased away the boys from our femme concrete wonderland. Who threatened to beat they full ass at just five years old. What is Black Joy if not Noise? What is Black Joy if not Yelling? What is Black Joy if not You Finna Not? What is Black Joy if not Rage?
I’m so angry I want you to know. I’m so angry my blood boils. Got an eye twitch. So angry I wanna fight at every club, sober or not. So angry that he left us. So angry I can’t even. So angry I hate you and you and you. So angry My Skin. So angry Misgendered. So angry Another Death. So angry Not Good Enough. So angry Unwanted. So angry Unheard. I wanna die, I’m so angry. I’m crying; I’m so angry. I’m here and I’m so angry. I’m Still Here; I’m So Angry.
I HAVE A RIGHT TO MY RAGE. IN MY BITTERNESS, BLACK JOY. MY HANDS, ANGELA’S BURNING CIGARETTE ON THE BURNING CAR. MY MOUTH, KELIS’ I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW. AHH, MY BODY, LISA’S BURNING HOUSE. THERE IS BEAUTY IN THIS BITCHFACE. THIS HARD. LET NOTHING HARBOR IN MY CHEST. MAY I RELEASE IN LOUD & CONTINUE TO CONJURE. MAY I HATE & HURT WITH ALL MY LOVE. MAY I FURY. MAY I BURN. MAY I BURN. MAY YOU SEE IT.
Kiki Nicole is a yung negro artist trying to remember how to breathe in the Pacific Northwest. They are a Pink Door Fellow and a member of the Spring 2017 Queer Emerging Artist Residency cohort at Destiny Arts Center. Their work has appeared in Wus Good Magazine, Radar Productions' GLOW Queer Poetry Feature, Voicemail Poems and elsewhere. Find them in the middle of the club with a book in their hands and a subtle twerk. You can keep up with their work on their website, and follow them on Instagram @yungnegroartist.