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Poem about how much i want you

Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Date Published: 
November 01, 2007

i can’t lie to you

atlanta done laid me down

heat painted pavement to stay

taught me

that to be alien

was to be here

so to be queer

must be hip hop

(beat beaten but beaming still)

atlanta taught me

music could war

and if drop-kicked hope

landed and landed

in Bankhead

it would bounce

atlanta remains

a city brazen enough

to kill me and keep moving

but I would STILL tattoo OutKast lyrics on my grave

what I am trying to tell you is

love is a sin

that at best trains me up

in the everyday art of not being a slave

but this is how much i want you

i would cringe into asphalt

fuck the compromise of sidewalks

if it meant you could stand in the middle and sing

i would shelter

the highest pedestrian deathrate

if it made the craziest among us

more likely immortal

would drawl down secrets

melt your sneakers

and name every pathway after what I can’t afford

if it meant you would

never forget me

i would be the place

spread open


for the queer and fly to multiply

because this is how much i want you

and you’re here

welcome home.

This poem was written the day of the event and presented as a welcome by Alexis Pauline Gumbs.