Published on Academy of American Poets (

Theory: Synesthesia

First, I was twenty-five with no sleep       (                    )

&         my body said    feel this                     And I didn’t

want to     (             ) then       It turned into a constant &        (         )

burned to be felt        I couldn’t harden

away from it        couldn’t ease             (              )

or sleep or not-feel        my way away           because it was myself &

what my child could see    (             )            & what                I was watching


Originally published in CURA, Issue 14. Copyright © 2014 by Khadijah Queen. Used with the permission of the author.


Khadijah Queen

Khadijah Queen is the author of six books including Anodyne (Tin House Books, 2020), I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On  (YesYes Books, 2017), and Fearful Beloved (Argos Books, 2015).

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