National Poetry Month Day 14: Khadijah Queen


Allen Iverson used to hang out at a nightclub in Virginia Beach when I was stationed in Norfolk & all the so-called gold diggers came out to see & be seen but I didn’t know that until we arrived I went with a girlfriend from Brooklyn & we left the ship in scanty attire she had on short shorts & a crop top & platform over-the-knee thigh high boots & I wore a satiny black column dress floor length & slinky with cutouts at the midriff & thigh-high slits & criss-cross tie straps in the back I was 23 & in the best shape of my life & had to leave the ship with a sweatshirt on because that dress was completely unsat & could’ve gotten me in trouble & maybe I had on underwear maybe I didn’t but I felt powerful & in the mood to reject all advances with a kind of glee but since my boyfriend bought me the dress & I knew he would meet us later I felt pretty safe & for a while the crowd didn’t notice us dancing my friend professional winding & me doing the L.A. two-step then this strange dude came up to me & insisted on buying me a drink & staring at my figure instead of my face & asking over & over for my number & saying that if he was my boyfriend he wouldn’t have let me go out looking like I was looking & I should let him trade places with the chump & the chump aka my actual boyfriend couldn’t hear but he could see & it seemed like he liked being envied all posted up in the back of the club with the other West Indian dudes drinking Guinness & waiting for the dancehall remixes but when the guy tried to put his hand on my waist & whisper in my ear all of a sudden there he was with his military muscle squad & Rude Boy tattoo visible on his bicep & pulling me close we left in time to see Allen Iverson in cornrows & oversized jersey & jean shorts & clean Nikes getting into the driver’s side of a white Bentley overcrowded with half-dressed half-drunk girls

–Khadijah Queen


Khadijah Queen is the author of Conduit (Akashic Books 2008), Black Peculiar (Noemi Press 2011), and Fearful Beloved (Argos Books 2015). Her chapbooks are No Isla Encanta (2007) and bloodroot (2015), both from dancing girl press; Exercises in Painting, due out from Bloof Books in 2016; and the digital chapbook I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (Sibling Rivalry 2013), the full length version of which will be published in spring 2017 by YesYes Books.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →