Poetry

Two Poems by Khadijah Queen

Our poetry editor, Wendy Xu, has selected two poems by Khadijah Queen for her monthly series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

Marcos Chaves, “Jaws” (1992) (photo by Will Wang, © the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler)

 

When I worked at Fry’s my coworker said Suge Knight liked her hairy legs & I don’t know how
true it was but she said he bought the diamond necklace she wore every day & this was the year Tupac died
& I drove my Oldsmo with the lights on in the daytime she & I were both 19 & had to wear skirt suits or
slacks in our department we sold CD players & handheld recorders & tried to get people to buy warranties
& she could talk those customers into buying almost anything & she tried to help me think beyond thrifting
& Wet Seal & told me about Girbaud jeans & Gucci bags & she really loved her small Chanel I don’t
remember her name but I remember a dude who worked in the AV section who kept trying to add me on
LinkedIn 20 years after the fact like for real nope & I won’t say if my coworker got hurt but she made a fact
out of fear & once I remember makeup over bruises the 1990s dangerous for women like any other decade
like now & the main thing about the guy trying to add me on LinkedIn is how close he stood to me
whenever I wore my mother’s baby blue v-neck button down because he was trying to look down the front

 

My sister met Hugh Hefner at a sushi bar called Geisha House in Hollywood he definitely had
on a purple crushed velvet jacket & my sister said he was surrounded by some “nasty-looking girls” & he
smooth came up with Hey honey & she made the untranslatable sound that is the Black people version of ew
& ugh is inadequate she was like what is he even looking at she had on a black crop top that was basically a
bra with spaghetti straps & macramé & hip-length fringe covering her midriff & just wanted to get some
California rolls with her white friends so they kept on walking

 

 

 

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Khadijah Queen is the author of five books, most recently I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On, published by YesYes Books in March 2017. Her verse play, Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press 2015), won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers. The Relationship theater company staged a full production in December 2015 in New York City. Individual poems and prose appear in Fence, Tin House, jubilat, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Fire & Ink: A Social Action Anthology, The Force of What’s Possible, and widely elsewhere. She teaches in the Mile-High MFA program at Regis University. Visit her website khadijahqueen.com.

 

Readers are encouraged to submit 3–5 poems as a PDF to Wendy Xu for consideration at [email protected].

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