“And the difference was all the difference there was.” ~ Toni Morrison

I’m hard pressed to say
America without sounding
like a terrorist.

I’m a guest here.

I arrived
with a few syllables
lashed to my back.

One of them is bitch.

I wear it
like a white dress
made for your funeral.

Here lies. Here lies.

Build a wall.
My man will lay
the first brick.

I’m already over it.

You say I don’t
know how to be
a wife.

I never show up
for anything
for free.

I’ve always been in fashion.

I spent many
a night chained up
in the cabin.

I earned my right to stay.

Did I tell you
about my son?
He speaks languages—

a citizen of
so many plots
of ground.

We’re bleeding this country.

I feed him with
the hard-earned money
of tax-payers.

It’s champagne
every morning;
caviar at night.

Each black bead a fetus
more precious
than his skull.

Can I live?

My grievances
have always been small
and breathtaking,

like my country.

It’s just that,
all of a sudden,
now, they’re useful.

 

From Hunger Mountain Issue 22: Everyday Chimeras, which you can purchase here, or consider a two-year subscription for $18.