Morgan Parker



Do you know what I would do
with the glory of everyone?
I would set it on my tongue.
I’ve been meaning to sing this
against chamomile hissing
up from the grates.
Not because it is
dark but because of how
I interpret the rules.
While tree trunks
grow into their pleats,
I continue to respect
unwritten codes.
The world would crumble
without my unwavering
sacrifice. I try to write
a text message
to describe
all my feelings
but the emoticon hands
are all white.
White Whine.
White flowers in a river.
Some plantation
stuck in my teeth like a seed.
I think the phone is racist.
The phone
doesn’t care about black people.
The phone is the nation
that loves the phone.
Otherwise my feelings are unable
to be expressed.
A white thumb pointed down.
You are
everything good.
I suck color
out of the night and then
your finger bones.
We become
a beautiful collection
of knots
trembling on the floor.
I need to know
what it feels like to be softened.
Tender filet on a fresh
wood block.
Small, warm body
in a field, un-itching.
Our bodies
never synchronized


Sometimes I wonder
Is Beyoncé who she says she is
Will I accidentally live forever
And be sentenced to smile at men
I wish were dead
Is loneliness cultural
Are lips true
Is a mother still a self
Do I glow in the dark
What if men are wrong
And English isn’t sound blue isn’t color
Eyes are the window to storm
Am I too transparent in this skirt suit
Is the skirt suit a social construct
What does money cost
Should I stop talking while the ocean
Takes California hot breath takes the Capital
Will ritual outlast what visits
Sleeping daughters with bad words
What lets some girls grow warm and tall
The arms of their lovers
Are rich and imaginary like me
Is desire making me sick
Building in my organs like ammunition
Tiptoeing behind my eyes until
I’m digital I’m static
Is it called desire can it speak
What does beautiful cost do I afford it
Do I roll off the tongue
Is America going to be sick
Will fat kids inherit the earth
Will you untag me from that picture
Do you think I should cut my bangs
Do I have any friends
Do you believe in me
Should I go to sleep
Try again harder tomorrow
Should I answer the phone
Who is it
Who want the world like it is
Spoke Baraka can you hear him now
Do you understand
Are calories and sitcoms
Here to make me sad
Am I a moon no one sees
Does my lipstick look okay
Am I growing tired
Of my alternative lifestyle
Or would I like a fresh glass
Is there something spectacular
In fallen trees ancient hieroglyphs
Hippie towns twentysomethings will they
Save us
Is it possible to disappear
What’s it like to be the first anything

Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize, and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Coconut Books 2016). A Cave Canem fellow, graduate of NYU’s Creative Writing MFA program, and poetry editor for Coconut Magazine, Morgan lives in Brooklyn and at
Online, Poetrymarkc