The Paris Review

One Word: Bitch

In our column One Word, writers expound on a single word of their choosing. For this iteration, we asked Danez Smith to write about the word that underpins their poem “my bitch!” in our Spring 2019 issue. 

I can tell who’s calling me from across the room by the pitch of their . Fati goes up on the  so that it’s almost a shriek. Hieu gets a little gravelly, dark and full, as precursor to some good gossip. Blaire says it flat, matter-of-fact, like

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Paris Review

The Paris Review18 min read
Let’s Play Dead
There was a man, let’s call him Henry VIII. There was his wife, let’s call her Anne B. Let’s give them a castle and make it nice. Let’s give her many boy babies but make them dead. Let’s give him a fussy way of being. Let’s make her smart and sneaky,
The Paris Review1 min read
Liza Watkins
I am named in my mother’s trustbut no one knows how to find her land. Bounded to the north by the Southern Pacific Railroad,east by the heirs of Dugas, Robichaux,west by a gravel road. How much of this do I own? View of: Property containing 25 arpent
The Paris Review14 min read
By Design
Her son and his future wife took Suzanne out to lunch and asked her to do the wedding invitations. Not so long ago, she had been a successful graphic designer. Her own boss. They were anxious to make her feel useful. When the food arrived, it was veg