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Xandria Phillips




desire-swole – swallowing full moons whole
              for a flooded mouth without sustenance – if you
give a negro the atlantic – she will probably stare in
the direction of what she was so keen on leaving – if you 

give a negro fat deposits in certain places – a nigga will
              probably notice – to sip the ocean – through
a straw after finishing a guinness – when a woman
contemplates something –  men see a closed mouth 

as a closed door –  think god is opening her window
              -ear to them –  wanting to surrender to
strong – rippling – saline – arms – 
here to tease the sea – wading for her – she 

won’t entertain thirst or nibbles to her under-toes
               – the atlantic ocean
is not heterosexual – she is simply in denial –  want
to drown – give the second string a chance – tune into 

that ear keen on god-ing  open for a nigga – nod
              – sequin eyes – offering throat on labadi beach
water-rejected  – take in something easy – oxygen
– something easier – men



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Xandria Phillips is a poet and survivor of anti-Blackness from rural Ohio. Currently, Xandria is Winter Tangerine's associate poetry editor and an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. She is also a Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow. Her poem "For A Burial Free Of Sharks" won the fifth annual Gigantic Sequins poetry competition. You can find Xandria's poetry featured or forthcoming in West Branch, Callaloo, Transition, The Adroit Journal and elsewhere.