A finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, Mama Phife Represents by Cheryl Boyce Taylor is published by Haymarket Books. The winner will be announced on May 11. Here is a poem from this collection:

You Ibeji Son

You Phife Dawg
You mas camp
You run dis muver boy
You Phife Diggy
You Funky Diabetic
You Don Juice
You Mutty Ranks
You first line ah verse
You big riff

You Diggy Dawg
You home house
You soca-hip-hop
You Ali boxing glove Wop
You 33 LP
You Trini Gladiator
You Rhythm Kids
You Dr.Pepper
You fig leaf
You preemie
You we are learning to live without

You Cheryl boo
You mama Ibeji
You peritoneal slugger
You Mt. Pleasant river
You cutlass
You broom
You broad pot spoon
You poui blossom
You pong plantain
You cassava pone
You shekere
You Five Footer

You Knicks man
You in Claire’s with Kaliya
You tossing son in air
You Deisha man
You David poppa san
You Walt main man
You first yu hear meh
You Volta River
You Elegua
You fit my heart

You suck-meh-teeth preacher
You Taiwo firstborn grandson
You of Elma/Ada/JadooMadoo/
You bridge torn down rebuilt
You Ventilation
You Bend Ova
You machete
You twin
You mama twin

You Cheryl big son
You praise
You chant
You word ONE
You won
You job done
You Phife no drum
You live on
You done flipped da world.

“You Ibeji Son” from Mama Phife Represents, © 2021 by Cheryl Boyce Taylor. Reprinted with permission of Haymarket Books. All rights reserved.