Jimmy is Funny ||| Kinfolks Quarterly

Jimmy is funny.
Jimmy is funny and all the girls laugh like rattled chains.
And you are twelve and laughing at Jimmy,
hoping God will be sweet. Let you be the sweat
sticking to the shadow of his red hair.
Meagan whips each ribbon of blonde over her shoulder.
Susie’s disappear behind her ear.
The cornrows stitched to your scalp say girl,
you just ain’t that lucky. Suddenly,
your body is a cathedral of no, shouting at the joints.
This is the day you are found by your body.
This is the day its black stops hunting you.
You, the skeleton on the playground,
laughing at white boys without her skin on.
Jimmy wears khaki shorts. Every day.
Your brother made bloody jigsaw of a white boy’s jaw.
Jimmy eats peanut butter and jelly with the crust cut off.
You know all the words to cop killer.
Jimmy tells the one about the crow that flew into the country club.
Your grandmother’s whole body was swallowed
to a whisper named “mammy” that drowned
in the spit of white babies.
But Jimmy is love licked all clean of 6th grade silly.
You are still laughing. You pray for your name in his mouth.
“Look, Jimmy. This blood looks just like yours, and so what
if it screams just a little bit louder. This brown is a small thorn,
but this love is all the mercy.” Jimmy
tells the one about the crow that flew into the country club.
You are not the song he is singing. You are the shadow
poured into the white space. His eyes blue-eyed blade you;
whittle you down to frat boy small talk, Jaeger shots from now.
They are still laughing. Your body has tricked you
into giving it weight.
Jimmy tells the one about the crow that flew into the country club.
No one touches it.
No one wants to wash their hands twice.
And Jimmy is funny.
Jimmy is so so funny.


Sasha Banks is a poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in RHINO, Kinfolks Quarterly, Alight, Austin IPF, B O D Y Literature, and has been performed in Tulane University’s Vagina Monologues. Sasha is the creator of Poets for Ferguson and a MFA candidate at the Pratt Institute. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she is learning to be Black and spectacular at the same damn time.

Jimmy is Funny” originally appeared online at Kinfolks: a journal of black expression, Volume 1, Issue 1, in January 2014