Giving Dap

Cortney Lamar Charleston


is surely not the same thing as giving head with your hands—
there's a different word you're looking for—but if you're
even thinking along these lines, I'm not sure you understand
anything about black people, about black boys most of all.

Head is something dudes dap dudes for, the mere suggestion
of game gone good with a girl: the fellas can respect that.

Them boys I know respect a rough hand, raw knuckles,
a hint of ruckus and roughhousing to brag on. They respect
prowesses of the body: if not mainstream athletics then
anything requiring a little stamina and muscular endurance.

In this alt-teen comedy, I'm typecast as the Tahj Mowry who
uses phrases like muscular endurance but doesn't have any,
or hasn't had it vetted, and that's all the same in this scenario.

Which is to say, they don't see me out here—they think I ain't
about nothing but some books; they think I ain't about nothing
but some "white" shit, not even the girls at that, though they eye.

Please don't get me wrong, though. I'm definitely about my
books. I'm just about my black-eyed peas, too, you know?
But Not. I'm more Minister Malcolm X-tra Small.

Point blank: I love me some black people, black girls, and I just
want them boys to love me back, to give me a pound of flesh and
bone on top of flesh and bone I have extended like a nail head.

Our fists touching, knuckles to knuckles: that'd be acceptable
also—or a grab at the web of the hand and strong pull into one
another as seen with the gravity of two adjacent black holes.

But alas, homie, there I go with that smart shit again; it's truly
a wonder I haven't gotten excommunicated from the lunch table
yet, though, if I pause long enough to think instead of panic
and posture and perform, there has to be a real reason for that.

Is it pity? Perhaps they know that I'd have nowhere else to go
in this school. Maybe it's the same story for them. Maybe they're
smarter than they appear, are believed to be by authorities above.