This piece is featured in Issue No. 11 Forbidden Fruit

Photography and Reflection

Batty Talk

Imagine, freedom, handed to me on a cramped dance floor. 
My body: twisting, writhing, dripping. A beaded collection of moisture draped on my eyebrows, trickled down my face, wet the top of my lip. 
The taste of freedom is briny. The salty taste of sweat: water – watta –  and a trace of ammonia. 
A moan yuh. 
It’s Friday night and I’m here. Bodies pressed up against me, my thick thighs tucked into tight denim. The gentle caress of a cotton marina against my nipples…my titties…my manhood. 
A silver chain slaps against my neck as I twist my likkle hips, move this likkle batty. 
My belly dances with me as I spin and the music thumps against my chest. 
Freedom is this belly. 
Tender morsels of braised oxtail between my teeth. Grandma cooks it in with butter beans and onions, simmered slowly with scotch bonnet. On those Sundays the sweet voice of Carlene Davis lulled us with peace. Around the table we sucked marrow from bones and gravy from our fingertips as we swayed to that slow rocksteady, to Miss Davis. 
Those Sunday’s made this belly, so why should I change it?

DRC & Julian Leone

DRC is a queer-black writer based in Tkaronto. His bylines include the New York Times and Paper Magazine. He is currently working on his debut novel. \\ IG: @danrealee Julian is a multimedia queer artist focused on photography, videography and graphic design. His work is influenced by the beauty of his friends and his community.\\ IG: @juleeein