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Abecedarian in the Party Supply Aisle with Nothing to Celebrate*

Approach makes all the difference, you hummed faithfully

beneath your breath. Believed it, too. To be honest, you

couldn’t imagine the truth being any further than a good homemade

dinner away. So off your goofy ass went to the grocery store.

Evil as it sounds, it excited you: entering the eternal ensemble of betrayed

femme fiancés. For fuck’s sake, you had your reasons. All the girls were

guzzling gossip regarding where your girlfriend’s particular

hips had happened last holiday season and with whom.

It wasn’t not an interrogation, what you staged with an inkling of

joy to go down come dinnertime at ol girl’s tacky dining room set.

Knives were involved, but kept for the tougher bits of the meal.

Lies were, too. Lovingly as you lobbed your questions, laced with

measured amounts of doom, she maintained her myths.

Nah, never even seen him naked. The natural noise these niggas

offer offhandedly in hopes of occasioning your silence.

Perhaps she thought you a close relative of Boo Boo the Fool.

Quite strange, considering the lack of laughter in the room.

Regardless of her reasoning, she had the wrong one.

(Shoulda slighted someone siloing less suspicion inside.)

Teasing out the truth might not temper the tempest

upending your gut, but you’ll hunt until you’ve unveiled your

villain, as the Good Lord Scooby Doo intended. Vexed, she

woulda got away with it if not for the wildness awake within

your unmedicated youth. Yeah, you might be crazy. But

zaaamn, bitch. You won’t be nobody’s fool.


*A nonce form that’s having a kii with Danez Smith’s “in lieu of a poem, i’d like to say,” the lyingass abecedarian contains a line for every letter in the alphabet except one. Here, it’s my X (and my ex). She stepped out.


IMANI DAVIS is a queer Black writer and critic from Brooklyn. They're currently a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Harvard. Find them at


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