“Warning: Black boys are in danger of becoming extinct” — trey anthony
black, tossed to a scattering brown.
how does this even tuck in?
chaffs they kite into stars,
brittle as a badge chewing a whole brand— me & my teenage boys,
known for all of our queer bodies.
we shove to flight,
& die with white greetings.
knifing phrases, like “negro bears no ego, so what’cha gon do bingo!”
we sponge it into our loin:
glyphs that trace their letters to our ribs.
black can’t mat his skin for holes to breathe,
the imams would kill him on their kneels.
prayer kills faster than grief,
makes you a preying thing:
like loss barreling through your skin,
poisoning your boyhood.
black foamed like white heavens,
mealing from shack to shack,
bright & faded,
like an elder skein.
how does this even tuck in without a song?
chants, to prune our skin & seduce it colors.
& teach it not to die,
& not to be equally yoked with white believers.
& not to believe that the sky do not believe in our craft;
how it wave says I’m one amongst dust till I groom my skin.
like how does this tuck in with all blacks,
when we fold our hands to fake flaps?
why should it be us selling our own kites to main boys, living in principal streets?
the slum should love our records,
if all that’s here is fleeting.
I parent my body into adopting a boy skinny as me,
barely shaved, with an accent for grief:
a language blacks knew before they knew their skin.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones