The Behest of a Fading Diva

Pain is real but it don’t mean we need to feel it / everywhere we breathe.

Filmmaker Casey Stein
Partner Cave Canem

The Behest of a Fading Diva

-for Uncle Vincent
 
Don’t let nobody fuck with the guppies
or the lavender girls at drama club. Lonnie and Teeka
need dresses for ball, and somebody go with November
to get her test results when they come back.
 
Clear up the rumors behind me. Let them bitches
know I ain’t gone crazy and I ain’t on Jenny Crank.
I ain’t killed no weenie dog, wrapped the bible in silk
with a hot glue gun or swallowed globs Vaseline.
I was shining my face, protecting my skin
from the wind.
 
This wheelchair is just cause I’m tired, you know.
I been stomping the catwalk with these feets
for longer than these kids been alive. A bitch needs
rest and relaxation at the end of the day.
 
Don’t let them hurt over me, lingering and snotting
like school girls recollecting old love.
It’s like my big sister Carolyn used to say:
Pain is real but it don’t mean we need to feel it
everywhere we breathe.
 
Tell them bitches I ain’t dying,
I’m just looking for another place to live.
 
 

 

 

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“The Behest of a Fading Diva,” a poem by Qiana Towns. ©2006 Qiana Towns. Used by permission. This poem originally appeared in Reverie. Collected in This Is Not The Exit (Willow Books, 2015).


 

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