Photo: Hieu Minh Nguyen

A finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, Homie by Danez Smith is published by Graywolf Press. The editor is Jeff Shotts. The winner of this prize will be announced on May 12. Here is a poem from this collection:

my bitch!

o bitch. my good bitch. bitch my heart.
dream bitch. bitch my salve. bitch my order.
bitch my willowed stream. bitch my legend.
bitch like a door. your name means open
in the language of my getting by. bitch sesame.
lets get together & paint our faces the color
of our mothers if our mothers were sad men
only soft in bad lights. let’s swirl the deep grape
& coffee pencils until we look like odd planets
on our way to looking like the daughters
we secretly were. caked & cakes hairy
just short of grace. we look terrible
when we’re the most beautiful girls in the world.
bitch my world. bitch my brother. bitch my rich trust.
i’ll miss you most when they kill us.

“my bitch!” from Homie © 2020, by Danez Smith. Reprinted with permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.