Anna Conway, Contributor.
My people come from pill boxes
half swear, half don’t
They come from white
rockets and pretty blue boats, they come from
shut windows and learning to say what
trouble was and what trouble does
My people don’t talk about feelings and wear
anger like a wet rag ON their temple
Some pray, some go to church twice a year or
twice a day. They carve pretty pictures on
their skin for pretty women.
My people say things like the Our Father
and close that door in a language claimed as
their own, but never use it to talk about
the things they love
My people don’t gather much
Factory workers with half an arm caught in
in belts, a taxi man working two jobs, bar workers
sales and offices rubbing bone against bone —
stay at home women in loose fitting clothes
My people don’t ask for anything.
My people ask for too much.
They call the weather man a bastard —
he smiles and waves and wears freshly pressed
suits. They pull fingers from rings and give
Birth sheets, trauma, blood,
spit, birthdays, cards; they are the honey
that sucks on my body, they are sandpaper
communion tablets —
Dreamed about children and
disappointments, missed appointments,
stroke upon stroke