Published on Academy of American Poets (

A Financial Planner Asks About My Goals, or Golden Shovel with Cardi B’s “Money”

Never touch-starved again, forever a chub-bellied baby sexed big
Skin a heatmapped catalogue of hands still wet still grasping still blood-fat
Behind every steam-slammed door, playplush beds as good as checks
Whole home stitched with only these rooms, only this near-rip big
Kitchen table perfect island for the stranding, meals propped heaven-large
Backyard a honey-dripped grove named Eden, ripe land of no bills
Whatever drops first, spice-adorned, sauce slicked back-to-front
Splayed open slow, tempting a spill, grateful to be devoured like I’ll
Make my giggling groommates, spit-tethered hips churned tender flip
Down smeared-open mouths or whole wedding cakes or any drown we like
Just measure by the fistful how thick this slick can coat a sigh, add ten
And that’d be balm enough to dizzytrip my lonely and her cartwheels


Copyright © by Kemi Alabi. This poem originally appeared in Poetry, December 2020. Used with permission of the author.


Kemi Alabi

Born in Wisconsin in 1990, Kemi Alabi earned their BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University. Their first full-length poetry collection, Against Heaven, was selected by Claudia Rankine to receive the 2021 Academy of American Poets First Book Award. They live in Chicago.

Date Published: 2020-12-01

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