Rachel Long

Rachel Long


after Deana Lawson

“But there never was a Black male hysteria”, Terrance Hayes

You fucked like foxes.
His necklaces, rings, on the all the right/wrong fingers,
and bracelets, all gold, not gangsta, but, like,
the gold was from the same place he was,
man wearing his own collection, birth right,
earth. On his skin, the gold behaved truer, denser.
And his tattoos irregular, almost Aztec,
but that’s your own limited reference, isn’t it?
— they were of a tribe you had no learning of.

The tattoo — your favourite — a straight line from his
neck all the way down to, and around, his wrist,
like another bracelet, a thin black line
making, down one side of his body, an almost sign
of a cross.

RACHEL LONG’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions (Picador 2020 / Tin House 2021) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, The Costa Book Award, The Rathbones Folio Prize, and The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.