"the intimacies of what will be called our sacred alliance without history" by Simone White

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July 28, 2022 

the intimacies of what will be called our sacred alliance without history

Simone White

in community those who do not 

 

the man i was drawing and dreaming was six foot three two hundred twenty pounds

six foot two one hundred eighty-five pounds

six foot three one hundred forty-five pound

six foot five two hundred ten pounds   

 

a little sketch of his white woman 

i didn’t know where to put myself 

I am nobody’s woman I belong to myself because I am unable to forgive 

but what is because

I am I said unable to forgive 

 

they say I am his other woman  

but I don’t belong to anybody nor the streets I don’t know any other way

to love 

unable and because

I know him and he knows me

when he says 

come here girl!

that is what i do

not anybody but the one who is the very one who is the one who 

can know I do not forgive the ones who have the same quality for warring

they love the soldier I was raised to be   the war in me 

like I love him             I do not forgive    I do not give anybody my money

 

the struggle is over

hustle

 

i think i hold freedom inside me which is probably why i dream about 

who i want inside me who among my sweet friends

all of whom treat me like the 

bitch

they believe me to be 

in their hearts 

i’m not embarrassed to say i am the other woman 

it’s an open secret it’s a 

metaphor  

 

on the street with a man i want very badly

i know i am eclipsed by his actual glamor

and fearlessness 

a wake anybody conscious could move into  

when i say “a man i want” he’s black because 

because because because because 

the quest reveals 

love to be what i have to offer and what i have for  

my familiar  

he is a criminal he is a liar he is high as a motherfucker  

on his way over here right now    

 

soon i’ll need a new pair of spectacles 

i need 

somebody to pick up the tab for afterschool

to pay off my loans

i’m broke

 

this is something we can negotiate 

the toll

 

to be claimed 

belonging to him as the root business 

between us 

our instructive adhesion 

taking place within unwillingness to forgive surrounding terrors

 

blocked in terms of sociogeny

 

i think about having a secretary

i wish for a girl 

to shield me from incoming emails 

and misogynist blows

 

simone is in a meeting she cannot come to the phone right now (POW) she sleeps naked

(GBOSA) her skin is very delicate       though papery to her own touch               she will 

accept flowers yes ranunculus and dahlia (SMACK) she is saying hold on

Copyright © 2022 by Simone White. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 28, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

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“This poem erupted and is embedded within an essay titled ‘Warring.’ It is what happened when I could not get to in prose what I meant by cultural desire for the rapper, Future, who rapper-watchers describe as an artist who deals in ‘toxic masculinity.’ In a patriarchal society, I am not sure about what kind of masculinity is not toxic to somebody. More than that, I am interested in how performances of desire and desirability that are condemned as disgusting are also, at the same time, impossible to separate from sacred aspects of blackness; in this case, what is sacred is what is called ‘swagger’—an element of soul.”
Simone White

Simone White is a Black poet and the author of or, on being the other woman (Duke University Press, 2022), among other titles. The recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award, she is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
or, on being the other woman
(Duke University Press, 2022)

“Did anyone ever ask any one of Nikita’s daughters” by francine j. harris
read more


“My Man” by Ricardo Aleixo
read more

Thanks to Erica Hunt, author of Jump the Clock (Nightboat Books, 2020), who curated Poem-a-Day for this month’s weekdays. Read or listen to a Q&A about Hunt’s curatorial approach and find out more about our guest editors for the year
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