Jordan Taliha McDonald

Bad News

when you are raised on The Wiz,

there is nothing The Wizard of Oz

can do for you

there is no Dorothy like

Diana no Good Witch but


no place like home

so, when i finally met the

Wizard, i thought myself a black


a lost girl led astray

now, if I were Evilene,

perhaps, I would’ve snapped

when I caught wind of the original

but I ain’t no Mabel

King, can’t make a fuss

when nobody’s listenin’

ain’t but one worker in my

sweatshop of a flesh suit,

i’m the only dancer trapped in my skin,

and there’s only so much

disappointment a youngin’ and her

beast of burdens

can take

Jordan Taliha McDonald is a essayist, critic, cultural worker, and (sometimes) poet from Seat Pleasant, Maryland. Her work has appeared in Vulture, The Offing, Artsy, Africa is a Country, The Believer, Blacks Rule, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and more. She is a graduate student at Harvard University studying Black literature(s) and rhetoric, among other things. She is famously an Aries.