Is It Twerkable?

Cut into the beat-beat
-ing heart 
Dissect the rhythm 
and you’ll find an African drum
Add the black body to the music 
See if it moves without being killed
No need for alcohol 
although it is often here too
The brown liquor 
as smooth as the leather couch
that your grandma 
done polished a few times over
If the beat bounces
the asses will too
It’s something about the music 
How we know the dance 
before we hear the song
Beyoncé remixes a classic
Before I Let Go
and patches it with the hustle 
that’s always been stitched 
in the melody unspoken 
It is here 
we find dance in all the music 
we’ve managed to create
All the colonized genres of dark
If I ask is it twerkable?
It’s not to ask does the trap beat hit so hard
that the Lawry’s and flour remnants rise from
the floor a soft dust cloud?
Or is Migos a better group than the The Wu
Tang Clan
for me to clap my cheeks too?
We don’t care what station is played as long as
it is black in root
As long as we can ask, is it twerkable? 
Meaning, what new dance have you made for
me to breathe in?
Is it twerkable? 
Meaning, what joy have you brought for us to
feed on?
Is it twerkable? 
Meaning, do I get to laugh open mouthed and
wide as a spilling ocean
without being killed today?


Jason B. Crawford (They/He) is a black, nonbinary, bi-poly-queer writer born in Washington DC, raised in Lansing, MI. Their debut chapbook collection Summertime Fine is out through Variant Lit. Their second chapbook Twerkable Moments is due from Paper Nautilus Press in 2021. 

Website: JasonBCrawford.com
Instagram: @jasonbcrawford
Twitter: @jasonbcrawford
Facebook Page: Jason B. Crawford