There Is No Beautiful Left
a guy like u doesn't belong on grindr lol
there is no beautiful left
last week i choked up every time i spoke
this is the closest i'll get to speaking my language
are u lookin for a man with an ocean in him
once upon a time
i only fuck men who know i am beautiful for all the wrong reasons
[the past pours itself onto my feet]
did it hurt when you dropped us from the sky, nikawiy
what is the cost of falling into a body like yours
my safe word is amen
Copyright 2017, 2019 by Billy-Ray Belcourt
From THIS WOUND IS A WORLD
(University of Minnesota Press, 2019)
Used by permission of the author and the University of Minnesota Press.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is Canada’s first First Nations Rhodes Scholar. This Wound Is a World was awarded the 2018 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and a 2018 Indigenous Voices Award. His second book, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, will be published in fall 2019.
Presented here with several additional poems, this prize-winning collection pursues fresh directions for queer and decolonial theory as it opens uncharted paths for Indigenous poetry in North America. It is theory that sings, poetry that marshals experience in the service of a larger critique of the coloniality of the present and the tyranny of sexual and racial norms.
"This Wound Is a World is a decolonial wildfire from which the acclaimed writer Billy-Ray Belcourt builds a new world and it’s the brilliant, radiant, fucked up Indigenous world I want to live in. His book redefines poetics as a refusal of colonial erasure, a radical celebration of Indigenous life and our beautiful, intimate rebellion. This is a breathtaking masterpiece."
—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost
"This book is a monument for the future of poetic possibility. It is rare to be able to call a book something so grand and full—and have it be utterly true. That's what This Wound Is a World affords us: myth and hyperbole pressed into a lived and realized life. A reckoning for and of the wreck—bravely buoyant, alive, and finally here."
—Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous