2 Poems by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

 On Hunger

“The crown ain’t worth much if the nigga wearin’ it always gettin’ his shit took”
— Marlo Stanfield

And I say now what I have always known:

a king is only named such after the blood of anyone who is not them pools at their feet and grows to be a child’s height before running down a hill, flecking the grass of a village crowded with quivering mothers and their boys, huddled underneath a new and undone black sky. There is not a way to rule without the knowing of where your family will get its next meal  rather, who it will be taken from, or who will become it. The dead, we know, do not hunger for anything but stillness. Perhaps their name sung around a fire by those still living, their gold worn atop the head of the man who made a widow of their lover.

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