Jamondria Harris is a poet & artist living in Portland, Oregon. They use words, sounds, wires, instruments, textiles & what falls into their hands to engage with blackness, desire, decolonization, fairy tales, femme supremacy, & body horror. They are a VONA Workshop Fellow, among other things. Their music can be found at

Four Warnings from the Dead

Here we go again. I am choking. The fruit of
my hands spills like blood
from here until the man we’re all waiting for
becomes me. Until I eat him and lose all tender
reaches that beat and are beaten. I heat your
head until it breaks open to trade in what
would be preserved. I am a safehold and
storehouse: lie in wait for me. Rest heavy on
my word.

I demand sugar pulled from your bones
in the exact measure of what you
never deserved. Every petty mouth sown
shut and fast to and with what would
reproduce filth. Lay their torsos wide
with sweetness. Wind and dry their
flesh. Wear their face in the mirror for love, your
eyes be their grace.

I am on motorcycle in the desert
with my  mother behind me, madness high and hot
at midday under my only sun
Which will lie down and it will be
Dark for a while but she will pull me
Up in heat waves at dawn & draw me out
Before I can ride properly. I have lost
The weight needed to ground my machine & am thereby free to travel as air too hot
To breathe from chest to cavity until
they become what is left of me
& we expire.

It is as a comet as I appear before
& must I ask for sustenance before
breath shall I examine the way
I take leave from the very air, the
same that such
sympathetic & good people
take their relief. I am obtuse. I remind.
I have a beautiful heart. it has mineral value of ideological
& energetic means; we have a deep means of loving one to another
out of this. come to me, love me. I walk in songs about
kissing which I will bring continually. sing with me. sing for me. sing about me. sing with me.

body poem # 1

where and ever that people put themselves
into each other’s hands they are bound to
be/come het up and there murder comes between
them& makes them irrevocably unending and
unable to remember one foot or hand
from another or that they had fallen
each unto each & lids sealed &
rebounded at the root of the womb. when
they must come apart, when they cannot choose
or remember who wants to leave, who is willing
over others to shut or be shut. who & where to leave
the light up or on becomes the blood quarrel, what’s becoming
& culls some is that this fire? can become light in a glass coffin: you
wire the money through and she’ll let you see
by her heat until she’s blown out at the brightest
possible conduit, flash and flow gone at your
measure. that you could take her measure
was the mistake that costs you your eyes. don’t
ask where the cash goes or the light went. keep your
hands where you can see past your belief in
the sun, afterhours. keep the night with you.

body poem #2

who   or     what the body belongs to after
it no longer can be bid
upon or has no bids that can
be taken up  once
the body has been dealt who
does the body belong to

who ever claims the body
  takes it out of necessary
futures of flesh yet-to-come,
  who ever claims this body is
bread from the mouths of children,
  who ever claims it: broken.

mostly i am the doctor that tries
& cannot stay inside this black
body dying, slowly,
like all the rest,  processes
iterating over and through mouth &
grasp, glass shards into sand building
stone crypts for blood memory, walls falling
where the sea meets my ancestors at their
glittering breasts, at the iron guards that
took out their teeth, the foam of the mouth
and the ocean. it is at this shore
i first learned to leave my body. this is where
power over salt & iron was given into my hands.
this is where i build a new face every
time i return.

(i don’t know what to do with the body/   this body that we have been/
tending/ or the attention paid to and out of the body/ if that money is mine if
I am part of this body/ or that tender body/ which is attended / and split limb from
limb between attendants/ the arms of which gather and spread / the whole body a reach/

i don’t know what to do with this body/  & i do not know whose we have been attending/
I am unfamiliar and  so am tender / open in fear/ at this body/ so I mourn
and forget this body)

body poem #3/ways I am becoming like my mother

i eat half-bags of mandarins in one sitting.
today i have slept 19 hours. i carefully built up
to this number. i can negotiate with my focus
and know when i will be better served
by closing my eyes. i make it to the idea of
food in my hands and sometimes the kitchen. i forgot
to pick up milk & chocolate but other things more
difficult to prepare i bought too much of and will rot. i know
how to teach myself to expect no rest even from
me. i know how to punish myself for closing my eyes. i don’t want
to talk to anyone. words without people are all the filth i can stand.
when i hate the sight of others i will stop worrying
if what i said to them meant anything, and this will be a blessing. when
i hate their memory & it finally leaves
eventually things will come clear. eventually i will be blessed.
there will be a place where i pull things together into
my hands without expectations
and am all of a function.  i’ll be earning &
made by what i make. there will be no one else. everyone
is waiting for this. if i am calm enough i will join a church. if
i win i will forget to breathe, i will forget to breathe, i will stop
being a child and will no longer need breath i will be on top of
things, utterly undone. no one knows me well enough
to find me. everything i have seen and said is true. i can’t tell
myself anything else. i can’t make these things more useful for you.

( even as  i am not desirable in the manner of
  women on my father’s side nor do i have what it takes on my mother’s,
i lied: i became in response to this, i don’t  have any ideas other
than owning my refusal over and  over until I or it breaks apart entirely. i am made of
the body of my family & bound into it. i am not good enough for god or commerce
and i do not carry, i cannot receive. sometimes i spend days in the dream, i show them what legs i have to offer, the kind of heart, nothing at all, blood quantum. i was made to measure.
  i have laid myself out longing toward sundown for them to think of until
there’s too much dark. i will move and leave them
locked loving towards where i used to rest. i take the most leisure at night &
to love me their eyes will adjust. i have been waiting for them
to spend days in the dream,  i have never known it without.)