In their third poetry collection, Homie, Black, queer poet Danez Smith delivers another powerful literary punch. The title is a “Minnesota nice” variation on what the St. Paul native really wanted to name the release: My Nig. Themed around friendship and packed with slang, the book explores both bonds formed and loved ones lost. They touch on their roots in poems like “i’m going back to Minnesota where sadness makes sense,” waxing poetic about the place where “you’re the only warm thing for miles,” and contemplate living with, and profiting from the discussion of, HIV. They also unfurl the multiple, layered meanings behind slurs like “nigga,” “bitch,” and “faggot.” Homie isn’t an easy or comfortable read, but Smith seems to know that’s exactly what poetry lovers need right now.