It Occurs to Me I Am Loved Most for the Things I Refuse

Hanif Abdurraqib


to do out of anger / or lust / or whatever keeps me
up at night / what I like most / about rage / is that it moves
/ an animal / of the body's own / fashioning / the leash
on mine / is so fly / it makes the animal itself / invisible
/ but if you must know / in the religion / I found myself born into
/ and then tasked with / restraint was a currency / I imagine
this / is why my therapist / knows where / her next meal /
is coming from / you are what you / don't / eat / is the joke
I tell / while I push the bacon / to the side of the plate/
and this is all / I have in common / with my father / I am most
romantic / when I let a fist fall / limp at my side / I'm still yelling /
put some respect / on whatever my name sounds like / out of the mouths
/ of your white friends / put some respect on the hood / in which
I am a target / put a thick gold chain on the neck / of the statue
I am building / for the man who worked /shining shoes / for forty years /
kneeling for people / who tossed him coins / without speaking /
put some coins in the fountain / the statue will rest in / immovability
is a type of reparations / I guess / the inspirational speaker asks us
to imagine / that we can become anything / I ask him to imagine
that anything / can become us.