• Keyoka Kinzy

Good Words

good words breed loyalty —

and i been loyal

on my back,

spread across the railroad tracks,

not feeling

the sharp bed of rocks beneath me.

my eyes trained up to the sky.

Who’s driving the train?


on rainy days, i’m smiling.

dudes have said, “you always supposed to be smiling.”

my mama has said,

“make sure you pretty, make sure you smart,

close them legs to stupid men and your heart

‘cause god and me brought you here

to be good with words.”

Who’s driving the train?


I have always been good with words.

They too tryst and bend like my foremothers,

Breaking apart, coming back together

In a language of hiding, of feeling.

We have a row behind my lips every evening.

There’s too much in my head

For eyes to stay trained up to the sky.

Who is driving the train?


If Love is an action, can it be stopped?

If it is a noun, can I kick it?

Am I still loyal if I get up to whip it?

I am smiling damn near every day.

I was bred and raised with good words.

God and my mama said,

“There is no train if you aren’t driving.”


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