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Mary Ball Washington

By Candria Slamin

For the students of University of Mary Washington’s 2014 Student Transition Program

Mary, do you remember when us Niggas was in Paris? Paris was everywhere we went: small ass dorm rooms, cobblestone roads. Paris was smoking behind slaver named buildings on slaver named campus. Us Niggas found Paris sitting around dining tables circled with wings. A prayer of Niggas being Niggas. You ‘member the way us Niggas’ brown skin tricked your white ass out that summer? All the multitude of shades of beautiful Black, running ‘round free to be just a bunch of young Niggas in our new Paris. ‘Member how our loud ass, run away laughter rang through your empty bones? We made every square inch of you gold when we was in Paris.

Mary, you probably don’t really remember. But, us Niggas do. We remember that summer and we remember the fall winds coming through. We remember blowing apart, spreading thin across your sea of white. Us Niggas remember the first one of us to drop out. Damn, us Niggas remember counting each other every midterm just to see who was left. Niggas remember the way we rubbed you wrong, the silence that came with your fall. Niggas remember holding our own selves cause you won’t gonna do it. We got left in the night with your local swastikas close behind.`

Us Niggas remember our Parisian summer when your president scooped us up. Welcomed us into his slaver’s home. Smiled his politician smile and did not say “this is where my ancestors beat yours.”


Candria Slamin (she/they) is shaking and baking from Virginia, USA. When she’s not being a poet, they’re busy being a giant nerd on the Internet. Find them on Twitter at @candyslam_.

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