this semester, i got my first d in a computer science paper. i needed
to pass it to graduate. failed a paper because i couldn’t look at
mathematical notation without seeing your face, feeling your hands
and your breath. failed a paper because i can’t separate the joy of the
way code does exactly what you tell it to if you’re good at it from
the way you were so, so good at making me do exactly what you
told me to.

A D IS A FAILING GRADE, YOU KNOW | conversations i will never have, 2015

written poetry

in the shower,
sloughing off the weight and stench of our fear,
we cannot rid ourselves of the fire
singing in our veins.

on falling in love with a revolutionary, 2014

this is about keeping a child out of trouble
you wrote,
i am a child, i need to be a strict parent to myself.
sara was fifteen.
i was fifteen.
cherie was fifteen.
you were: twenty-five, twenty-nine, thirty-one.
the sticky-fingered child sneaking
warm cookies and slivers of thanksgiving turkey
except pubescent girl-children were
the morsels you wanted.


i will not be your bathsheba,
your abigail or abishag.

how many young women have you plucked
from their homes?
how many have you considered bright,
or beautiful,
and just needed to have?

you were raised from humble origins,
and you have learned to be gentle and kind,
but you are still king, o david.

you are still king,
and when you demand us
we cannot say no.

(you will do great things
but never for us.)

on earth as it is in heaven, 2015

spoken word

there’s a reason why brown isn’t in the rainbow.
brown swirls muddy in the jars
when we rinse our brushes
brown is what you get when you mix the rainbow together
confused intersectional stories that aren’t
linear enough for any pride week feature

brown is what you get when
you let the concrete be covered with moss and earth
it is dirty because it is land
it is ahi kaa roa
before you waterblast it down
and paint it white,
because brown is not empty enough
to hold your rainbow.

brown is, 2014
you're fucking dead, and your fourteen-year-old daughter started a gofundme for your funeral 
and hundreds of people are messaging her like, hey, your dad was a racist but you don't gotta be, you know,
your dad was an imperial fucking wizard but he couldn't fucking say expelliarmus when his
stepson fucking shot him probably with his own damn gun because
wizards aren't real, at least not in the way the kkk seems to think they are,
cause you're not invincible. you weren't invincible, anyway.
but i can see why you thought you were. in 2014 you were handing out pamphlets, weren't you,
alongside all that cross burning and stuff. pamphleting your neighbourhood.
cause michael brown had just been shot by a white cop and all you had to say was
"people of all creeds and races will not tolerate this terrorism masquerading as protests,
this violence against our wonderful police." no need for hoods or flames or jackboots
cause in 2014 you were on the right side, you were on the side of the law,
and 2016 didn't fucking change a damn thing except that you knew for sure
that you didn't need to be the slightest bit scared any more.
lemme tell you, frank. i'm fucking scared.
and google maps tells me there's twelve thousand, six hundred and sixty-six kilometres
between where i live and where you died but time zones can't keep me away from people like you.
spoken worlds 2017