the cut up

For all the klingon homies

we eat wangs and throw   dem bones on     da ground                  
Shout when we want how we want               holy ghost
hand out my pocket hit me three times                              
pigfoot          and a bottle of beer we
jukejointsouthern     &baptist         call every brown drank
whiskey                       every grape drank purple          and
every spade a gotdamned pa’tok we put That
on everything we love        we strap
M-16s over     our shoulder so you          know
that we             like the wutang clan           ain’t nothing
to fuck wit             and we laugh                oh when we laugh
we laugh               loud              loud enough for the ancestors
to catch the rhythm                    and all over you       
You at the next table with your breadsticks getting cold.
we run a lapclaplaydown              jumpinplacescreamwheeze
all to catch that laugh        and get it all the way out     like all the joy
clogged up     from the day let it bust through                   windpipes
all at once      bust loose like the first bits of day
with a mouth full of               sharpened teeth.

Copyright © 2022 Candace Wiley. Originally published in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books, 2018). Reprinted with the permission of the poet.