But the job, like the others, had its pleasures. When a voice did answer to the name on the list it seemed to Caroline a piece of luck, and to use a false identity was a wonderful novelty. She was Betty Brown. She had heard of actors who were nervous stammering people while offstage but who became fluid and confident once concealed behind the mask of a character. Now she knew how they felt.
at the Angel Island Immigration Station our bodies levitated in minutes, ticking, ticking, alive, alive; forgo mercy and forgo hunger; slurp the pig slop; our muscles in 1911, 1912, we turned ghost and ghost again
Tariq’s Heed the Hollow is a humorous, erotic, and stunningly heartbreaking engagement with a language that has forcefully made queer black bodies and voices invisible.
But golden eras—like edens—end. Even the magic of Prospero’s island, we assume, departs with him, for better or worse. For Sugar Island, much like Prospero’s, the beginning of the final days came with a shipwreck.
Walking up to a large, colorful brick building with art pasted to the windows, I realized that I had always passed by the center without properly seeing it. I learned about the Neutral Zone’s youth-driven programs, including sound-mixing classes, poetry workshops, and a printing press called Red Beard, which I would come to know and love in the coming year.
My father doesn’t say, “Don’t tell.” He doesn’t say much at all. The way to end the silence he gave me was to write this sentence: “I’ll tell you what I suppose from your silences and few words, and you can tell me that I’m mistaken.”