Interior Image

Jari Bradley

Years: 2017

Biography Jari Bradley is a black genderqueer poet and scholar from San Francisco, California. Jari has received fellowships from Callaloo, Cave Canem, and Tin House. Their work has been featured in the Huffington Post, and is listed by Blavity among "15 Creatives in the Bay Area You Should Know." Jari's work has also been published in Callaloo, Hot Metal Bridge, Nomadic Ground Press, The Virginia Quarterly Review, BOAAT Journal, Drunk In A Midnight Choir and Punctum Books’ Anti-Racism, Inc: Why the Way We Talk About Racial Justice Matters. Jari has an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and is a recent MFA candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. They currently serve as Poetry Editor of the University of Pittsburgh literary magazine, Hot Metal Bridge.




I say boy not sure if I mean myself

or an undoing, a slippage of sex

but always meaning a tender violence

or child’s play, a way of becoming


I say boi and mean a small

god of making—an appraisal

of my bad shape, it’s favor of the

blood that does & does not come


dysphoria  is what it is called when

I say I don’t care for my breasts  or

is what I mean by they get in the way

I say man and mean hunger


or twin tongue; a kin taste for cruelty

stalled at the site of the first wound

I say heel and mean to keep

the dogged fear at bay as its hands


tear into my hefty frame, persistent

until I feel a pit opening inside me

I say girl and mean Lord have mercy

on those days where I didn’t deserve any

of it, have mercy on how weak I believed I was.