The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter” by Aja Monet



the agent said
it made no sense
for me to opt out
of the TSA screening
machine. i told him
it was my right
i intended on exercising it
he sucked his teeth
said i may as well start gettin
used to goin thru the the xray
cuz soon i wont have no rights
to exercise anyhow
so proud
he was
so proud so mean
tellin me about      my rights
his strut away

This selection comes from the collection My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, available from Haymarket Books. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, as well as the New York City YWCA’s “One to Watch Award.” She is the author of The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project. Her first full collection of poems My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was released this month.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.


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