Danez Smith garnered wide acclaim for [insert] boy (YesYes Books) making this—their second collection—one of the most highly anticipated books of the year. Already shortlisted for the National Book Award, this collection pushes the redemptive possibilities of language, imagining an afterlife “not earth / not heaven” in which black boys are free to experience the carefree love, joy, and pleasure they were denied alive. Prepare to be torn down and built up again by these urgent, assertive, heart-wrenching poems. —Gabrielle Bates
From “summer, somewhere”:
do you know what it’s like to live
on land who loves you back?
no need for geography
now, we safe everywhere.
point to whatever you please
& call it church, home, or sweet love.
paradise is a world where everything
is a sanctuary & nothing is a gun.
here, if it grows it knows its place
in history. yesterday, a poplar
told me of old forest
heavy with fruits I’d call uncle
bursting red pulp & set afire,
harvest of dark wind chimes.
after I fell from its limb
it bandaged me in sap.