Back to Issue Thirty-Two

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

2020 Gregory Djanikian Scholar in Poetry, Finalist

After Angel Nafis

“I’m so show-off / My diamonds designed to twinkle and bleed light” – Azealia Banks

Mark my words, bitch.

Someday I’ll wear the fur

of every animal inside me

still crying for attention’s milk.

I don’t care what you call me:

tantrum, mink momentum, siren

of the cheapest songs. I wish it wasn’t true,

but scream any name & I’ll come.

Tbh I’d pull a thousand looks

from your eyes if it meant

I’d finally be seen. I mean, shit.

What does a bitch have

to do around here to get a tulip

tucked sweetly behind her ear? Die?

I can only do that a little at a time.

Y’all can wait. & I can continue

to sprawl the mania out on my good

chaise lounge. I know what I’m doing.

I’m fighting off invisibility with a snakeskin belt.

I’m rewiring the audience to finally look

me in the eye. I got so many reasons

to scream & so little chiffon to do it in.

Ashamed? With this face?

Girl, I wouldn’t be caught dead.



FYI, The Moon is a Femme Top

2020 Gregory Djanikian Scholar in Poetry, Finalist

Yes, the boy hovers
above you, a generic ruffle

of gasp & ohmygod. But let’s not
kid ourselves, shawty. We both know

to whom you really pray. Brooklyn’s sky
is too twitchy for stars, so this is all

you know of night: your body, whichever tongue
is in season, & Artemis’s wide-open eye.

A tangle of muscle. A field
of unexplainable knots. If your moan could be

honest, it would be. You’ll figure it all out
soon enough. For now, you lie

to men for no reason in particular. I got a girl,
you leak. But I can never tell if she loves me back.




Imani Davis is a queer Black writer from Brooklyn. A Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, they are a recipient of fellowships from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Lambda Literary Foundation, BOAAT, and the Stadler Center for Poetry. Their poems appear with PBS NewsHour, The Offing, Best of the Net, The Adroit Journal, The Rumpus, Shade Literary Arts, and elsewhere. For more of their work, visit

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