Prince Bush is a student at Fisk University studying English and Women and
Gender Studies. They are a non-binary, gay, and black poet. They have work
forthcoming or in Rhythm & Bones Lit, Arctic Tusk, and Fisk Political Review.

My New Nintendo Smells Like Weed

I sleep on crack counters under cover
as beds. My dad plays trap house with action
figures dressed as the real thing. I am ten
seeing ten grams intent on being sold.
I sneak peeks through cracks; he cracks the door shut,
sometimes. My new Nintendo smells like weed.
I play the Wii with rolled up blunts and dice
in the background. He says turn around, bend
too loud to laud legs. I pray please, don't let
him kill her, forgetting she's dead if she's
here. Then she meets, melts, molds, moistens my mint
cheeks, tells my dad he gon' be fine. He says
I might, slaps her somewhere, takes her someplace.

colored queer life: 20

tomorrow, i am only eleven
years from death, one of these catnaps could be
culpable. and let it be known that all
i prayed for was sleep, and to be black: brought
back, be nothing in caps, declared dead. then
the black church could, maybe, let me in. if
dead, is it a sin? just in case, the carved
coffin can be red. and please let the clothed
and well-robed pastor tell you i prayed when
he put it in. but, Jesus didn't hear the
closet, and called once i got caught. scripture
held my knees while i wet, rewrote pages
as servant in matthew, sermons on his
stretched hand. i use well what i am given.

no attempt robbery
in memory of Zak Kostopoulos

Kostopoulos, beaten to death, a crowd
watches, as he's beaten to death. a crowd
stands, and kicks to death, keeps the store, a crowd
is stigma, pistil and pollen, a crowd
is unreproductive, a disc. a crowd
caught an ancient greek kiss man-made, a crowd
records history reversed, gay's a crowd
of crows murdered, he didn't steal, still a crowd
took stock, got the shop owner feet, a crowd
of two more feet, handcuffs, hands cupped, a crowd
uploads loafers they walk free from, a crowd
handcuffed a gay man, they handcuffed a crowd
of gay hands, they had him hurting a crowd:
us. Zackie Oh, know jesus had a crowd.

i am not here because i want to be

i wonder now, if you can break apart
your hippocampus, you called her black but
wow, she was too, a woman, almost a
compulsion, almost white, stern stood telling
the world about it. but she's black, your eyes
eyeless: that she too: an eyed woman, by
her judgy boss, scared by and large, of the
justice, for his joint gestures to be judged.
i am not here because i want to be.
this is not an apology, but here,
an explanation: when men ignore race,
they wear black and white, and put their hands up
to say dear God, forbid any woman
would question me. and you don't. you bury
the story, our bones, our bedrooms.

Back to Front.