IMANI SIMS : An Open Letter to the President Elect : #pussybitesback

Here we will chew the very fabric
Of red white and blue until
It reflects our image, you
Will not stop this. Our

Stomachs are centuries old
And have digested tyranny far
Worse than this. Remember
Our pussies had fangs enough

To birth revolutions with barely
A scratch. We will devour you.

Can you hear the howling Mr. Trump?
The sound of grandmothers clawing
At your tower?
Burn it down.

They say

May historic oppression never
Phoenix its way into our
Contemporary. We will not
Idle our magic for your ignorance.

Burn It Down
They say.

Burn It Down.

We wolves will bare our teeth
And invoke flamed ritual, bleed into
The cracks shaped by your white privilege,
Arch our backs in victory dance
As there will be nothing left.

We have come to suture
What liberties are remnant,
May the lady doused in green
Show her teeth, pull back

Upper lip and return
To the sea, even she
Sees where this is headed,
Must submit to Luna’s alchemy

And become a withered truth.

The burning isn’t difficult,
But ask yourself:
Are you ready for what we do

With the ashes?

VICTORIO REYES ASILI : An Open Letter to the 45th President : #3amcantsleep

Here I will chew the very fabric of your shortcomings; I will eat your narcissism for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; I will remember a not so distant past, where I sat somewhat comfortable in rooms bingewatching, facebooking, cooking; I will wish for those moments back, as you prepare to organize us into lists for deportation, for surveillance, for safekeeping; we will watch as your followers drink every word you spit, slobbery like gigantic dogs with smooshed faces; we will bear the brunt of your rantings, your grabbings, your underlings; and some of us will remember that others sat in living rooms, just as we did, but their walls broke open from bombs blessed by our tax dollars; a few will think of innocents burned by shrapnel, dislocated, home unrecognizable; I will recall that invisible planes, in the name of bingwatching and facebooking protection, disintegrated humans, humans who had been organized on lists somewhere, or looked like someone from a list, or stood next to someone on a list; we will remember those placed in detention, long before you breathed smelly fire words about your wall; we won’t forget the parents separated from kids, and we will remember the teens who never knew any other home, grandparents who had been walking down the street, all sent across a river, across a dessert, over a not-so random southwestern line; a line that wars were fought over, as blood spilled across every tear soaked pathway en route; and the pipeline, that you didn’t commission, that was built on sacred land, that will pump tarry liquid, that will one day enter our stomachs, quenching sludge slipping down our throats; someone will remember every body on the street, laying there before you were even almost president, every body suspended in air when you were in diapers, every body floated across an ocean before you were a thought; we will sit in our living rooms and remember our comfort, our limited comfort, conjured into existence at the expense of unlivable living rooms; and I will drink your sludgey fascism, and it will burn.

Imani Sims + Victorio Reyes Asili

Imani Sims is a spicy Chai tea loving Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. She believes in the healing power of words and the transformational nuance of the human story. Imani works to empower youth and adults through various writing courses and interdisciplinary shows all over the nation. She is a 2016 Artist Trust and CityArtist Grant recipient, Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas curator, and Gay City Arts Fellow where she brought Afrofuturism and Performance Art together for eight shows. Her book (A)live Heart is available on Sibling Rivalry Press.


Victorio Reyes Asili is an activist and artist living in Albany, NY. Victorio holds an MFA in creative writing from The Vermont College of Fine Arts and is currently pursuing a PhD in English at the University at Albany. He was featured in the anthology of emerging writers: Chorus, published by MTV Books. Additionally, his poems are forthcoming or have been published in the Acentos Review, The Mandala Journal, Mobius, Word Riot, Pilgrimage Magazine, and the anthology It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip Hop. Reyes Asili's primary area of research is in Hip Hop poetics; in relation to his research, he will be on two panels at the 2017 AWP Conference: "The Written Orality of Hip Hop Lyricism" and "A World Turned Upside Down, Hamilton an American musical." Before pursuing an academic career, Reyes worked as a professional activist, serving as the executive director of The Social Justice Center of Albany for 11 years.


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