ari lips

ME TOO (excerpt)

that day

i wore the blazer

the pants

and the shoes i bought

for the case i had to testify

in earlier that year

the shoes a knock-off version of the kind

my attorney then wore

because she was so effortlessly poised and professional

and i wanted to be that, or something like it

so i wore them again for my deposition

i took my piercings out

did my makeup perfect

subtle, conservative

piled my braids on top of my head

with every bobby pin i’ve ever owned

painted my nails fresh blood red,

because that’s what i do

when i need to be a giant

and i certainly looked the part

even if i couldn’t find my motivation

i knew they would be asking for it

and i still hadn’t come up with anything

ari lips is a black girl from the south who’s into cold weather and dope lines. she is an active member of Black Lives Matter 5280, and a founding member of Denver Action Medic Network currently paying the bills working in behavioral health. this dedication to social justice and affinity for the advocacy of marginalized people informs much of her work. as a self-ascribed poet/activist she is best known for her uncanny ability to get lost and come back to herself ad nauseum, hence the moniker ‘the prodigal negress’.