Latif Askia Ba
JUNE 26, 2021
I roll through these Brooklyn streets
and see an old friend.
we will pour ourselves wine
and fill each other in.
But tonight, I sit with the people I’ve sat with for a small eternity.
I sit, smiling with saké on my tongue. The night sky is high and nodding off.
I smile at the moon, at the wine, at the neighborhood junkie. I have tasted the
flesh of scallion pancakes and curry cucumbers—complements of the
chef. But what is this thing
stuck in my eyes? Who is this whale
that swims across my stomach?
They call it gloom, doom, depression. I don’t call it
anything. I want
a strange body to hug me. I want to touch strange legs
with strange hands. I want
to get high in Marseille and eat cheese and pastries.
I want to take a train from Brooklyn to Berkeley. I want
to sit alone in a seedy motel. I want
to be still at last, to dance at last, to run at last, to jump at last, to look in the mirror
and have nothing to say. Finally,
this body, finally, this body, nothing
but this body, ripe at last.
The night like a warm blanket with nothing to do
and nothing to say—this body—and no one
to tell it to.
waits so beautifully—
my chemise, unbuttoned
LATIF ASKIA BA is a poet with Cerebral Palsy from Brooklyn & Staten Island, New York. He’s currently living on the Upper West Side, working on an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. The bulk of his work explores the culture, language, and philosophy of Disability.