Sasha Debevec-McKenney is a graduate of Beloit College. Beginning in the fall, she will be the Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow at New York University.
"First African American Bachelorette, 2017" was awarded the 2018 Peach Silver in Poetry by guest judge Morgan Parker.
Because obviously. Because I am a sucker for reality show poems and anything concerning black women and desirability. And because of lines like "I can pretend to love anyone for the right reasons."
by Sasha Debevec-McKenney
First African American Bachelorette, 2017
I’m famous now. This morning I masturbated in a hammock.
This afternoon, photo shoots. B-roll. Footage of me without love
in my life. I throw rose petals in the air and and put my hands out,
grabbing. The photographer says it's about the falling
not the having. Try and look more surprised.
If I pick a black guy it won’t play as well. Petal, petals. An entire rose
rests in my cleavage. I can pretend to love anyone for the right reasons.
Once my white friend told me if he shuts his eyes and imagines
his bride she is white. I model my skills Miss America style: slowly
bagging groceries with ease, hip out, french inhaling the perfect
joint by the lake. I am more approachable in slow motion.
I never believed in loving two people but then two people
loved me at once. Why stop at two? Why stop, ever,
I’m already touching myself in this hot tub. Do I look
okay? Am I enough? The limos are coming.
Cardi B @ The Breakers
The wallpaper here is platinum but
I wrote my first hit single on an airplane.
That’s right, in the fucking air. I fly.
I don’t have to be touching the ground
to stunt, but I do it for my fans.
You’ve never smelled anyone like me before.
Some of my power comes from bitches
I hate, some comes from bitches that hate me.
You can buy an ass, but ass shaking is handed
down, generation to generation.
My apartment’s full of flowers. Every room
in my body is a breakfast room.
I have a head for each wig.
I bought a car; I can’t drive but I walk
alongside and out race it. My nails are too long to roll
my own blunts. Everything
people give to me I take. Nobody’s
ever gonna say I didn’t work for this.
A robin laid eggs outside my window this morning,
and you want to try and talk shit about
what’s wealth? Fry ‘em. Everyone in my crew
gets a taste.