Three Poems


I never met Bill Cosby but I met Beverly Johnson at Magic Mountain with my dad & my sister one summer in the mid-1980s & she had on an oversized cardigan & jeans casual but lovely my dad chatted her up while we rode the Colossus with her daughter he said he asked for her number & she politely declined I remember her grace & regality & lace-up boots she sat on the bench with her feet crossed at the ankle so when she went public about Cosby drugging & trying to assault her I immediately believed her & not him I have seen enough of powerful men by now to know she had nothing to gain by getting in the fray & the truth of beauty means both spotlights & shadows find you & it takes more than instinct to know where to stand on the stage & I don’t mean looks all the time I mean all women are all beautiful & I wish we knew it in ways that make us realize the relative insignificance of the arrangement of external features so we might as well have a little fun with it & not get so caught up & my dad had a lot of nerve right I mean men have a lot of fucking nerve in general & I think my sister & I had on matching Hawaiian shirts that day & wore them tucked in I didn’t wear that shirt again & not long after that I fell in love with fashion & asked my dad to start buying me issues of Vogue



We met Shai at the Fox Hills Mall I remember because we were trying on clothes & trying to convince one of our friends not to shoplift a lace push-up bra & panty set she had a date that night with her crush & no cute underwear we said Girl you better keep your clothes on & who walked in the store but the tall cute one with the curly hair she forgot all about her date & her draws because she looooooved Shai especially the tall cute one with the curly hair she got dressed & got a hug & an autograph I probably had on one of my dad’s old BOSS sweatshirts that shrank in the dryer because I didn’t have many clothes I was 16 & that was the year our house burned down & I left Beverly Hills High where my fashion technology teacher presented Gone With the Wind as a good example of costume design so I requested to be excused to the library where I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X until the class finished watching all 238 minutes of that BS



I met Keyshawn Johnson on the USC campus in one of the dorm rec rooms it was low lit & he was playing pool the friend I was with pointed him out & he nodded at us & shook hands I had on a green denim knee-length Fubu jacket & black bodysuit with my sister’s dark green men’s Levi’s for the low rise waist before they made those for women & fake black Timbs I don’t remember why I was there but wherever my friend invited me I always tried to go we were just hanging out probably he was in his second or third year at SC & I think that was the night he felt me up & I did like & want him but not like that I wanted something more like love we had known each other since middle school but didn’t talk for a while after that although eventually we did become friends again & so much happened between us I could write a book about it but I’ve lost interest in pain



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I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On by Khadijah Queen