trap saved me

by Calen Firedancing

all my favorite poets


                        the way they words sprint

                                                 down the street at nighttime

                                                                knowing smoke
                                                                knowing lights
                                                                knowing what happens

             when a word hits pavement
                                                                knowing history

                                                                              vessel of gunpowder
                                                                                     to make a holier smoke
                                                                                     renewal of burn and bright a

                        baptism a

                                   song of voyage and celebration
                                   that leaves neck heavy of chain an
                                                                                     open barrel and out

                                          comes blood
                                           of no one’s knees
                                           comes history
                                           of no one’s kin

Calen Firedancing is a black queer poet, filmmaker, and undergraduate student at Williams College, majoring in English and Africana Studies. Originally born in Los Angeles, Calen now calls Phoenix home when he is not in Massachusetts. Calen is also a Mellon Mays Fellow, currently researching queer possibility in trap music. In his free time, he watches too much film, reminisces of days when he could hoop better, and enjoys the loud and quiet company of loved ones. The following poems appear in our spring/summer 2018 issue.

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