Photo courtesy of the artist

Derrick Austin



Artist’s Quote

When Symone hits the runway in a do-rag


longer than God’s, bluer than the second day


when He made the sky,


I feel like I have a tray of oysters and champagne


and a manservant to refill my coupe


so I never have to leave my clawfoot tub.
For the first time in months I cry from happiness.

Luminary’s Quote

A do-rag is a part of Black culture, and I wanted to celebrate that on the stage. Ain’t nothing wrong with wearing no do-rag. It is unapologetic. That is very Symone. – Symone


@the_symone, Instagram video. January 23, 2021.


Derrick Austin is the author of Tenderness, forthcoming from BOA Editions in Fall 2021, and Trouble the Water (BOA Editions). He is a 2019-2021 Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He tweets at @ParadiseLaust.