Ariana Smith

but there is no evidence

no more wondering
what strange fruit tastes like

& no more guessing what our
prints look like in the soil because

in death we are pages,
our sin more important than our name

i don’t wanna hear how it’s better with a man
i don’t wanna hear about how you got

99 problems and a bitch is one
how my pretty face is a waste

there is no shame
when hetero-love is proclaimed on oak tree

or on billboard
and bathroom wall

meanwhile two black women were just killed for
loving each other in public

two black men were just stabbed
in their homes for the same

but of course,
there is no evidence

no evidence when trans black women
are thrown into rivers and oceans and dumpsters

no evidence when a girl down the block
was raped back to straight


Ariana Smith is a senior and a film major at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts in Las Vegas, NV. Born to an African-American father and a first-generation Filipina, she has used poetry as a medium to connect to her multicultural identity since she was a little girl. Now, Ariana focuses her work on modern issues facing black youth. She believes poetry is a tool for creating social change by touching the hearts of an audience and opening their eyes to unique human experiences. She looks up to poets like Audre Lorde and Aimé Césaire, who contextualized the black experience in the African diaspora. Ariana is a member of her school’s Black Student Union and a Young Ambassador for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.