EXODUS II by Jari Bradley


There is home nowhere— not even as I stand center of the Eureka valley

prideless, the heft of myself crushed

from all sides in a sea

of glitter and white faces that don’t care if my black ass never

breathes again under their rainbow—

in all the ways my body

stands outside the object of their desire—

I am 21 in the Castro

the first time my name is pronounced nigger burning at all four

corners inside the eyes of a stammering white girl drunk off the hubris

of her cherished skin— I am fit to be no one’s pup or dark fetish

I have no Master

to lord over me beneath an arched entrance

or alleyway or muni station and I accept that dark

its exit forged in fire—

all that flame searing my blood.

JARI BRADLEY is a black genderqueer poet and scholar from San Francisco, California. Jari has received fellowships from Callaloo, Cave Canem, and Tin House. Their work has been featured in the Huffington Post, and is listed by Blavity among "15 Creatives in the Bay Area You Should Know." Jari's work has also been published or forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, MARY: A Journal of New Writing, Callaloo, Hot Metal Bridge, Nomadic Ground Press, The Virginia Quarterly Review, BOAAT Journal, The Offing, and Punctum Books’ Anti-Racism, Inc: Why the Way We Talk About Racial Justice Matters. Jari has an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and is an MFA candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. They currently serve as Poetry Editor of the University of Pittsburgh literary magazine, Hot Metal Bridge.

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