Any story that starts: “Today I feel like a drag queen,” “Today I feel like a bride,” has my name all over it. This story from Leone’s most recent collection, about degrees of self, and what we choose to show or conceal in relationships, is as playful, sexy and subversive as the character who narrates it. It’s a fully inhabited world, unambiguous in its depiction of female desire, as the layers of realness and power play are revealed. Hot AF. The entire collection is incredible, but I love the (literal) bounce of this.
First published in Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction, ed. Carol Taylor, Dutton Plume, 2001. Collected in Come Let Us Sing Anyway, Peepal Tree Press, 2017