Camonghne Felix


Camonghne Felix received an MA in arts politics from New York University and an MFA from Bard College. She is the author of Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books, 2019), which was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry. The 2013 winner of the Cora Craig Award for Young Women, Felix has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Poets House. Source

Thank God I Can't Drive

My brain is trying so hard to outrun this. 

It is doing more work than the lie.

I could go to jail for anything. I look like that 

kind of girl. I only speak one language. I am

of prestige but can’t really prove it. Not if 

my hands are tied. Not if my smartphone is

seized. Not if you can’t google me. Without 

an archive of human bragging rights, I’m

[   ] nobody, an empty bag, two-toned 

luggage. I’m not trying to be sanctimonious,

I just found out that I’m afraid to die, like, 

there goes years of posturing about, beating it

like I own it, taking it to the bathroom with 

the tampons—like, look at me, I am so agent

and with all this agency I can just deploy 

death at any time. The truth is

that I’m already on the clock, I’m just a few 

notches down on the “black-girl-with-bad

mouth” list, the street lights go out and I’m 

just at the mercy of my own bravery and

their punts of powerlessness, their “who 

the hell do you think you are’s?”





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:





Racial Injustice

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing