shout out to my niggas in Mexico

Danez Smith


it's true! we made beyond do with what the ships left 
in our mouths. it's true! our histories stink 
of interruption our long stories impossible

to tell for real without their names 
which became our names. all that plot 
twisted up in the blood, but tonight the land hums 

with all our dead's beautiful throats, let's have a party! 
bring your niggas! i'll bring mine. what else 
do we share, cousin? drums & cornmeal? 

our mothers make the same face when
they think of god, their dead sisters, the rent. 
shout out to all your mothers! shout out 

to all my Mexican niggas. we need a bigger table now. 
let's get some food going. let's get all the tias & aunties
still alive up in here. let us wash their feet this time 

before they stand against the hours despite the knees
& the water there to knead & batter & cuss the slow rice
so everybody can be a little less hungry. shout out

all the aunties. do you think god knows the white men 
who lease the united states hate aunties?
what do the approved uncles have to say of this? 

there's already so much so to deal with amongst our own
folks to worry the white shit falling like rejected prayers
ugh! i didn't want to talk about them today. 

let's start over. would you like some greens? 
do you fuck with Patti Labelle? Rubén Blades? 
Panameño cat. nice with it. we'll listen to him next.

shout out all my niggas in Panama. some more chairs now. 
& all the Jamaica niggas now native to Colón, what up? 
& all the Caribbean niggas how didn't already come 

when i said come, come on now. all my African niggas 
if y'all ain't already here, get here already! & all the rest
of the niggas in this place they called the Americas, come on! 

come on all my niggas who still call this land its older names. 
& all my Asian niggas, y'all already know. bring the broth
your auntie makes when she wants to make your mama look bad. 

hurry on here, y'all! we got so much kicking it to do! 
i see some slow-moving Arab cats over there! 
& some slow Muslim niggas too! didn't you hear me 

say y'all names? come! if you must fly in from your island
bring the island with! bring your cousins, your wine, your rituals!
all y'all come quick! i'm sorry to use whole damn continents 

& shit to sum up all the diasporas within your diasporas, 
i'm just trying to get the word out! we got a jam going! 
bring ya folks! bring whatever your mama considers gospel. 

not the text, but the feeling. tell me what song is likely on 
when our mother finds herself on the floor, weeping 
beckoning down whoever lurks behind the sky. 

we'll play that loud. look! our fathers have found each other
in each other, they're over yonder teaching each other 
what they know to do with dominos, trading curse words 

like fourth graders with too much language & no supervision.
we got time! we gonna be here a moon or two! they said the fish 
is gonna take until tomorrow. the lamb longer. the rice is ready tho. 

we got some more chairs in the basement. upstairs a room 
for crying. a room for prayer. somebody girlfriend 
doing tarot over there. look at our nieces jumping into stars! 

come on niggas! is there a nigga in Antarctica? her too!
any place where they came & handed out new name
come. come on, niggas! i know the word is complicated 

but it's my favorite word! we'll talk about it later. 
& yes. yes, it's intentional. 
                                     they were never invited.