Me Hands Trilogy

Baki Baki Baki, a Black Native community artist and trixta, offers a trilogy of poems as a meditation on the summer of 2020.

There are two images of Baki layered onto one another. The first one that captures your eye is of Baki in 2017. Their Afro is luscious and as Black and youthful as they were at the time. Half of their face is covered by the shadow of a palm leaf. The second photo is a smaller portrait of Baki this year. Side eyeing the camera there is age there. They have red and blonde braids and half of their face is covered by the shadows of crab apples. The second photo is placed so their eye meets their right nostril in the first one.

Oftentimes in between chants and cigarettes and rest, oftentimes when I’m sitting on the porch with loved ones, many talk about how they are not sure what they are going to say when asked about these times–as though we are not suspended in them. As though we haven’t been suspended in time for a while. As if justice always hanging in the balance. Due to the warfare on Blackness joining the warfare on indigeneity, is no longer being hidden behind a veil, I feel like I only have the ability to talk about meditation…as a Black Native…as someone use to hurting. As a Black queer trans individual, I feel as though I’ve always been attacked at every angle. And now that there have been several ruptures, I no longer feel the need to hide or overexplain myself. These collections of poems, this trilogy, is a meditation…are several meditations. This truly is my response to the question, “What will you say about the summer of 2020?” I have dated them. I have been as honest as I can be. I have loosely used metaphor. Take a deep breath with me. 

“These days, for protection” 

February 27, 2020

These days, 
For protection. 
I don’t just hold
Self when I’m sad. 
I put, 
I imagine, 
These days
For protection
For protection these days, 
I put my child
Self on me lap. 
Wrap me in my own arms
With me in my lap 
And fall in the palm OF 
Me higher?
Naw giant 
For protection, 
These days…
I just mean 
Me right? 
Like my child-like
Naw joy.
These days 
To protect 
To protect 
My joy, 
I allow myself
My child, me…
I mean the child
(Of Gaia, Of God) 
The child in me? 
These days, 
For protection. 
I don’t just hold… 
These days, 
For protection,
For protection 
These days
I, with myself 
In me lap
Fall asleep 
In my very 

“Today, on me ring finger” 

May 14, 2020

Today, I sat 
Within myself, 
And yet 
I ain’t sit in me palm. 
Couldn’t dare sit in 
Enough comfort 
With this carcass-shaped 
Grief in me belly. 
So -I sit with 
I sit within myself by collapsing 
Timely, on me ring finger’s tipping point. 
So I directly feel me heat 
Mending from a safe distance, 
All while balancing rage disposal and 
I sob, 
Silently still, 
As I was taught to mind 
Whose earshot I’m in, 
On this side, and the next…
Sobbing still
Make waves, 
So I rock
Crossing me arms, 
Making a raft of me right hand on me left shoulder
Me left on me right, 
AFLOAT, on the bed my consent was never asked for 
I remember my hands, 
My strength, 
The unbreakable force
Of me mother’s mother’s Momma’s LOVE. 
I sob and rock 
Into my palm. 
Carried and carrying
Me bloodline, 
The wombs responsible 
For mine. 

“These days, my hands since the Uprising” 

July 15, 2020 

These days
These days me hands are very tender
Too tender, 
Scorched with both fire n 
                        And and and 
Rubber bullets den gave me stigmatas
             .        .      .   
Tear gas make me run away from me 
These days I settle for plugging me wounds 
With my heart and mind separately
Reality be unbearable when dey 
merge (Converge?) 
They stay bickering though 
I gotta be comfortable
With discomfort 
Praising me 
for ALL de WRONG 
Tricks. . . 
I haven’t 
I haven't held ME  in ---ages. 
Me left me lonely in hopes 
Of sorrow not finding me. 
Guess what? 
DAT BITCH den tagged me up. 
With stencils AND a collar 
These days 
These days sitting in silence... 
Intentional gaps between M E  
Don't seem like compromise 
These days me 
hhands tremble too much 
You know, I’m okay cause okay be 
De bare breath? 
And I STAY breathing 
So these days me 
Settle for clear drainage. 
Blood and bitterness are every present and 
For me mental sake(s)
I will ONLY caress the back of me hands. 
(Keep palms for the divine to deal with) 

This piece is part of the series by guest editor Juleana Enright.

 Baki Baki Baki

Baki Baki Baki is a Black Native community artist and trixta. They believe Black joy and creation make the world go round! Baki has created plays with 20 percent theater company, managed by RARE PRODUCTIONS, and is currently selling their zines through their Instagram (@bakiiibakiibaki) of collages that interrogate both renaissance and 70s white feminist art. …   read more