The author as seen in First Ladies (2013) performed and commissioned by AfiriPerforma: The African Performance Art Biennale, in Harare, Zimbabwe (photo by Lotte Løvholm)

This article is part of Sunday Edition: “Juneteenth.”

Untitled {you woke up yesterday}

you woke up yesterday and did not expect to die

so of course the night seemed different, smiling

before sleeping you sighed, and then

and then, and then? Tomorrow you will

look in a glass and nearly trip

startled by your own beauty

outlined by the sun.



it is that


: to survive

this blood-drenched crawling

wailing life is not possible

and neither is

blinking through scars

into a beaming sun without forgetting

start with simple: living

is not possible

without life

Editor’s Note:  King’s “untitled” poem was published in Rock | Salt | Stone by Nightboat in 2014, and “sometimes” is included in a collection, All the Rage to be published by Nightboat in 2021.

Rosamond S. King, author of collections All the Rage and Rock | Salt | Stone and Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination, is associate professor at Brooklyn College and creative...