her joke

Rashad Wright

i know a girl, with a standing ovation              where her voice used to be

she’s tall enough to tear the light off the ceiling
she thinks the universe is round


sometimes i think she’s right                            when she knows she’s wrong.

she laughs at her own jokes,                              looks at me like i’m her best joke.
she’d make rust                                                    think it was bronze.
she could turn water                                           into watercolor.
could turn right now into “are you done yet.”

she makes me say                    “i aint done yet.”
makes me believe it . makes me scrape up my
“this is all i got” into a pile of “we got this”

she is a girl                                                            with a hook for a heartbeat.

she is the best kind                                              of worst person.


she’s been forever and back . she saw tomorrow , yesterday . she likes really bad episodes of

really good shows . her smile can’t keep a secret . she thinks she’s a secret . she’s not . she’s just

a note in a song that holds itself too hard.


she cracks, is torn         has thorns and has named each one
has enough holes           to call herself a dreamcatcher.
she is whole and catches dreams


but me i’m just a guy
writing poems
about a girl
with a shine
where she thinks
her broken is.

Rashad Wright is the Poet Laureate of Jersey City, New Jersey. He is a graduate of New Jersey City University, receiving his BA in English: Creative Writing. On campus he was most known for his work with Peers Educating Peers (PEP) as a certified peer educator.


Outside of NJCU, Rashad’s poetry has been heard from both local and national stages via slam poetry. He is the only person to be titled the “Grandslam Champion of Jersey City Slam” twice. He has also competed in the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California then again in the 2017 National Poetry Slam in Denver, Colorado. Since 2016 he has also coached Jersey City Slam. Also at the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam in Spokane, Washington Rashad won 25th in the country. He also coached the 2019 6th Borough.


He has been awarded: First Place for the Walter Glospie American Academy of Poets Prize. Outside of poetry Rashad’s work expands into memoir, fiction, short story, performance art, and music. His work has been published in several online magazines and journals. He is currently working on a book length manuscript titled Working Definition: Dictionary & Thesaurus and a poetry album titled Romeo’s Whiskey.