jayy dodd


-after Busta Rhymes



as in, real clockable
       from across the room
a question mark        what part
of me punctuates best?

is you feeling
       how i’m feeling
              really, truly though?

if you question        my inspection
tell it to me slow.

i know your kind
is incline
to tell it to my

but you seen        that I’m mean
don’t wanna be exposed.

death —

i’m scared of this kind of command.
telling you to expose yourself

when you have already seen me        bare.
i only un-know what happens between your eyes &

my own conceits.           i’m as scared
of being ignored as i am of being seen.

please put your hands where my needs can see them
open palm, fit me, my waist,

if you reallywanna partywith me

i’ll be in the corner trying to catch
the/ here or there /light reflecting from my phone.

i have been called elusive.
admitting its purpose feels like revealing

how an illusion works.
as if there is magic in fear, or

being consumed by fluorescent dread,
as everyone around you lifts their hands to the sky.

yo —

but if i caught ya here

must have
seen me
looking real right.

in the
back of
your mind,
got ya
pants tight.

if you ask
i’ll make you
& your friends’ night.

this is my fantasy though,
all my barking, is rooted
in fear of you realizing
i wanted this before
even entering the room.
i wanted you,
before you,
to spot me a blooming
succulent. call this look
a ripening.              pick me,
dripping in my dew.
slopping up the cool of the night.
trust i will flower in your hand.



i am genius & i won’t say that again.
you won’t believe me anyway.
what is brilliance in a vacuum?

to think i would be so enamored with mortal bubblings.

before i knew what i was, I WAS, & knowing was the best thing for me.
yet, after knowing what i am, i am, & will be: all i have left.
i am the coagulation of so much wonder.

this body been a bxtch, i just call her one now.

i write my own anthems. make you sing them back to me.
listen to me now but hear what you want anyway.

i almost forget the earth is cosmic too,
that i am hung in the same galaxy of which you claim no end.

a good night’s rest is just a temporal death,
telling myself there’s something beyond here, gets me through night.

i have left enough beautiful portraits to remember me by.
i dare this world to take me out completely.

you can’t obliterate what never was.

i am as forgotten as i am lied upon.
or i lie to myself in believing,         i deserve memory.
i am made up of all who believed,
or still do; who tell my tale, or will.

in my place a flower will take the poet’s eye,
          ashes to daffodils.

prepare the taxonomy for my kind, i will settle in the abyss,
not more unforgiving than the river.

i am made up of all the offerings to the dead. of each season,
restoring. telling myself that there is nothing
beyond wanting to be better than myself,
that i can bloom in the wood.

jayy dodd is a blxk trans femme from los angeles, california– now based on the internet. they are a professional writer & literary editor. their work has appeared / will appear in Broadly, The Establishment, Entropy, LitHub, BOAAT Press, Duende, & Nashville Review among others. they’re the author of [sugar in the tank] (Pizza Pi Press 2016) & Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017). their collection The Black Condition ft. Narcissus is forthcoming on Siren Song / CCM Press. they are a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-editor of Bettering American Poetry. their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy.
Mark Cugini