Sideline Ho

(for Monica, #Verzuz, and Black pandemonium)

You sure you ain’t
America’s Ho too

You sure you
ain’t wreckage

A gutted house on
twice stolen land

America’s Ho
to command

You know you’re more
than just a body to own

But this was always their
plan supply and demand

And ain’t you tired
of being on the side

Ain’t no benefits there
Ain’t no breakfast

You’re always left restless
Always actin’ a fool

You ain’t ever even
been inside!

Tell me what’s the point
if you can’t ride?

Just keep playing this America
game til you die

There’s gotta be
another way to survive


Danielle P. Williams is a Pushcart nominated poet, essayist, and spoken-word artist from Columbia, South Carolina. She is a MFA candidate at George Mason University who strives to give voice to unrepresented cultures, making it a point to expand on the narratives and experiences of her Black and Chamorro cultures. Her poems were selected for the 2020 Literary Award in Poetry from Ninth Letter. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Hobart, The Pinch, Barren Magazine and elsewhere.