Ode to Black Light

& what is a praise anyway but

an obnoxious speech / you’s in the presence

of a God. I bring fuchsia sky after an aching

rain / that makes your unhealed bones

creak. Tickle the moon and create moon-

light. Endless                   sea to sea.

There is no afterlife. No sonofabitch who

can kill me / notorious. Blow out

kneecaps summoning the wind. Strike

you down by your lies / watch your mouth

watch your blood / clots. Have you wishing

you spoke black. Warrior of afflictions.

Play for limbs. Make you wanna do a dance

against the water / incinerate whole villages

with my pinky. Barely break a sweat. Barely break

& you sulk. Bulging with disdain / you can’t defeat me.

You come from my breast. Licked my nipple clean &

still you only dream of miracles/ see heaven.

Never darkness and how it creates uncupped light.

You never pray Oya / but think Jesus can

stop earth’s cracking.


DeShara Suggs-Joe is the Creative Director of Workshops for Winter Tangerine, Co-Founder of the Daughter’s Tongue writing collective and former member of the Youth Speaks Collective. She is a 2016 Callaloo Fellow and 2017 Poetry Incubator Fellow. She has been published in Winter Tangerine, The Texas Review, The Oakland Review, and Art Cult Zine. She has also been featured on Button Poetry’s YouTube platform. She has performed at the likes of Spotify, Yahoo, and Pinterest but considers home inside a classroom teaching creative writing or listening to Solange on repeat.