jayy dodd is a blxk question mark from los angeles, california—now based on the internet. they are a professional writer & literary editor. their work has appeared / will appear in Broadly, The Establishment, Assaracus, Winter Tangerine, Guernica, & Yes, Poetry,  among others. they’re the author of [sugar in the tank] (Pizza Pi Press, 2016) & Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press, 2017). they are a Pushcart Prize nominee; their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy; they’re a co-editor of Bettering American Poetry & a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow. find them talking trash or taking a selfie at jayydodd.net.

This poem initially appeared in WILDNESS journal.

1 poem by jayy dodd

KNOWING GOOD & WELL

In private conversations:

hands around throats         for the first time.

How anxiety can taste of salt,

of a hand rolled cigarette

in the thick of memory.

In the night,

when moonlight is obstructed

& neon porch falls victim

to impenetrable darkness,

deep breath is rationed

in short-change currency.

To be choked or touched

or silent

             or night

                          or drunk

                          & crying.

To be wee hours

             praying for the dead.