Two Poems by Morgan Parker

Funeral for The Black Dog


For the time Beyoncé left Kelly and Michelle

and I left the earth. You came to the greenly

dusted world in my place. You settled in

like a raft of fire ants under the Honey Moon.

For the walls that turned black

with cooked meals and tantrums dear

Morgan, cool out. What do you have to mourn?

In the future it is frigid every day and when

I am awake I deny you like Peter before dawn.

Christ. More than ever I feel

accidental. Your shame swelling in my limbs.

Chamomile and lemon and my mother

cradled you like an infant in a car seat,

patted your stomach until you could sleep said

Baby, imagine but you didn’t listen.

Poor Michelle and drawers full of butterflies

and forgotten hash. For the house you built

around your body with broad leaves.

For the men you fucked and swallowed

and fucked and prayed over. You dressed up

in their muscles. For how you are always

still thirsty. For your vision of kingdom.

For great-greats in the croplands and what

their thighs have witnessed. For what chases

us to hiding, steeps us in glass-blown cups.

For the ribs I cracked open for you

to spread yourself up to my clavicle. Your

takeover like a potted plant flooding the room.

For fifteen. For eighteen. For nineteen, twenty-two.

For this hood offering to remember pain

but never to lie down next to it. It is getting late.

Let me fucking mourn me. I’m sorry.

For the diamonds that didn’t shake loose.


love poem


As my final feminist act

I want to make you my husband.


I want to get rich

and be a kind of Oprah.


You know how white people

are so leisurely: that


will be us. Our days in

a king-sized bed with all


our friends, strong cider,

strong pot, fireworks, fireworks.


I want to know you know

I’m in charge.


I want to build a reef for us

and fill it with arrows.


My nerves will break in half.

I’ll be the kind of whole


girl who drags her hooves on soft

grass, breathes when she’s full.



MORGAN PARKER is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books, 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in numerous publications, and anthologized in Why I Am Not A Painter (Argos Books) and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books). Morgan is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a Cave Canem graduate fellow.