Winter Poetry Issue: Morgan Parker

A writer deconstructs and re-imagines the archetype of the Magical Negro.

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Magical Negro #3: The Strong Black Woman

She likes it rough. When you open her up through the mouth hole, the dumb 
cunt hole. You could stomp around in there. She won't feel nothing.
She's fine. Not fine like fine because she's ugly. I mean that bitch is faking.

This played-out scene she loves so much so she can feel like she got a dick:
Angela Bassett at the end of the movie smoking a cigarette, smug bitch burning
our cities down, cleavage always only a tease, with a face like Can I help you.
Yes, bitch, you can. You can strip down to wet tears and dry cum. You can
be more naked.

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Stop crying. I'll give you something to cry about.

She think she's better. She think she cute. She's holding out.
She is nothing to hold. She is no one to worship.

Inventory of her body: hair she cut to look like a man, too-dark nipples,
the way she waves those tits around, asking for it. She's always crying.
That uppity face. Holy-grail pussy, a mountain peak. Her pussy self-defense.
A lack of serotonin. A lack of vulnerability. No chill. Nothing real.
No need to have her back because she don't have one. Just a mountain
in a dark blue wilderness. She aches from the captivity.

Magical Negro #217: Diana Ross Finishing a Rib in Alabama, 1990s

Since I thought I'd be dead
by now everything
I do is fucking perfect walking wreck
wreckless and men
I suck their bones until they're perfect
I don't sleep with accolades I don't get touched
in the night all men do is cry
and ask me to be their mammas I can't
get a decent fuck to save my
when I think about their feelings I don't care
It's cool it's cool come to mama there is so much
death here she is casual and almost fragrant like
the word kill doesn't sound as bad as it is
All my friends are sisters and husbands I'm afraid
to be uncharted I want an empire in my teeth but I can't
be bothered to not wear silk or nothing
I have grown up less mysterious than my myth
All men do is think I'm looking at them
When I think about them tasting me I don't
I mean don't google my tits when you can just
Unfortunately I have a body and I'm the only
one in charge of it you know what I eat the bones too
I'm in the world I'm in the world
nobody cares where I came from

Morgan Parker is the author of Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize, and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, forthcoming from Tin House Books in 2017.

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