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My Baby's Love Song

by Juliette Givhan

Let’s experience life together

listen to Childish Gambino together

when we’re high—

sitting on the front porch,

watching the green bodies of walnuts

that will never come to fruition

fall out of the trees to shatter

on the deck’s dark brown boards.

Let’s pretend we would’ve had fun in the 50’s


been allowed to hand jive

with the white kids—

sit on their stools that spin,

believing Elvis invented Rock and Roll,

and ordering cream sodas

long past the time

that good girls went to bed.

Let’s pretend that racism died in the 60’s together,

that putting flowers in gun barrels

or getting spit on in diners

meant my parents weren’t alive

in a time that their marriage

would still be illegal—

my existence considered an abomination,

because maybe then I can pretend

that I’d let you love me.

That this skin I’m in

at this place in time

hasn’t only ever taught me

how to hate.

About the Author

Juliette Givhan is a Black poet who writes about myths and memes. Her work navigates themes of race, sexuality, family, and how the stories we grow hearing and telling effect our lives. Her work appears in ANMLY Magazine, Change Seven Magazine, and Two Hawks Quarterly, with forthcoming poems in Pidgeonholes Magazine and baest Journal.

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