National Poetry Month Day 4: Khadijah Queen





I dreamt you at the Tate

Leaned forward on a long bench, long legs
taking up the whole sleek area
Drawing your own sneakers & eating a tuna melt
cut in half

After you offered me that 50%
I took out my own giant sketch pad & we switched—
size 14 men’s & size 7.5 women’s, archival
Who cares about matching

The dream occurred on a plane
traveling north from Phoenix to Denver & now
carouseling slow is my neutral hardside
& Sade, through Bluetooth, intends to leave like a lion


Anxiety Speaking

All I want
went flowsy
& sop-studded,
crust cracked &
acted out. Losing
the word just
makes for, like grande
or tall, blackberry or
pea shoot, arabica
or canephora, options.
Who presses a daddy-shot
chick backs up in seconds.
Farm clock style,
patience running afield.
Cut or pan to fresh
pow on the Rocky range
framed in shop windows
& spelled out in sharp Brit
yesterday conversation.
Just watch if a return
classes up the surprise.

Khadijah Queen is the author of five books, most recently I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books 2017). Her verse play Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press) won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women's Performance Writing, which included a staged production at Theaterlab NYC in 2015. Individual works appear in Fence, Tin House, Gulf Coast, American Poetry Review, and widely elsewhere. She is currently working on a book of poems and a book of hybrid prose. More from this author →