Poetry: Two Poems by Jayy Dodd

When A Nigga Call You a Faggot

You gotta laugh at least once.
Like the pot calling the kettle
A more dangerous thing.

When he spits it your mouth,
you must swallow the sour,
hurt of anxiety. How your lips
make him salivate.

When he swings his fist,
duck down and tackle him to
the ground with soft kisses.

When a nigga call you a faggot,
He’s calling you by his first name.
He’s telling you about his-self.

His own fault lines splitting his tongue,
toxic and tender. He’s crying for help
from the bottom of the ocean.

When it discharges from his throat,
imagine it lands on the shores
of which both your bodies washed up.

When a nigga calls you a faggot,
you still gotta call him brother.
You still gotta pray he makes it
home at night.


An Elegy for a Brotha

Sickness is silence conforming to death in
serious moonlights. At the shore, leaving
our sandals by the boardwalk before

Survivors of midnight ceremonies seek
different satisfactions on their stomachs.
Strip your back, bare and fresh, reminding
the moon of his youth.

As the under current prepares the sea,
confess your desires in waves, in hymns
crashing on the flesh.

There is no mercy for the warriors and
outlaws and brothers but the weapons
carried are not forgotten.

By the morning you are made new, whole.
We will have dancing and sweat.

jayy dodd is a homeboy writer and poetry editor from Los Angeles, now based in Boston. his work speaks to survivals of soft black boys. his essays and poems have been / will be seen in The Offing, Huffington Post, Blavity, Lambda Literary, and Crab Fat Magazine. his chapbook [sugar in the tank] is forthcoming on Pizza Pi Press, early next year. find him online at jayydodd.com


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