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Porus, Jamaica, WI

when they ask where are you from?

what they mean is

where were you raped?

how hot was it?

in the morning?

after tea and a long belch?

behind the sugar cane?

or was it a bale of cotton?

which history book are you cited in? which reference section?

did the rape happen more than once?

have you been back to the scene of the shortcoming?

you’re so lucky

my family loves to winter in Montego Bay

lol jerk is so spicy 

list the names of every one of your fathers

cuz your mother’s body was just a tool

to create you

a bastard carcass

them men never considered a viable option…

 

when you say Cuba, Jamaica and Guyana—“but I was born here”

what you mean is

Grandma, Cuban, became Jamaican

Mama, Jamaican, became American.

My father never stayed (and)

I, American, don’t know what I can be yet.

 

somehow

where are you from?

executes as both SHU and escape

depends on who’s asking, you know?

like, for example, if a person

who has never experienced foundational trauma

is asking

they just throwing up bars because they got them shits on deck.

but, for example, if a person

who was born without grounds to petition

who had to learn how to make air taste like breakfast

is asking

we’re sharing roadmaps

marked with different circuits

to some mutually nondescript place we both have marked h-o-m-e.

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23. Mucilage [Part 1]

Macy read an article on a tech blog about super glue. Not krazy glue but molecular glue. Glue that causes molecular fusion between two items. She thought about when she was a child and squeezing milky white Elmer’s glue all over her left hand. Then she would take her right hand and rub it all around so the sticky paste formed an even layer of protection on both of her hands. Pulling her hands apart, Macy would wait for the glue to dry clear and until her fingers were mostly inflexible, she’d meticulously remove the new layer of skin she’d added. Skin removal was most satisfying when she could pinch the glue skin at the base of her hand and slowly pull it off in one go. If Macy was careful enough, if she didn’t feel the itch of impatience, she would have two perfectly gossamer imprints of her hands. She liked how much smoother her hand felt after removing the glue. Macy collected her best imprints over the years and kept them in a box labeled “Height Chart” because her parents never took the time to write half inch lines on the wall, marking how much she’d grown from year to year.

And in the way Elmer’s glue had satiated her childhood desire to leave shadows of herself, this new molecular glue could satiate the growing desire to be a part of someone other than herself. Macy, of average attractiveness and build, of moderate intelligence and understanding, found the crux of young adulthood and adulthood to be one with a lot of consequences she couldn’t easily handle. For example, she couldn’t decide upon a job so she applied for them all. She couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner, so she ate nothing. Every decision in her life was bound to the extreme binary of all or nothing and Macy, more often than not, went without.

It stands to reason, of course, that love is one of those items on the list of What A Young Person Should Accomplish because up to now, most instances of love had been invalidated by proper adults as “puppy love”. Macy never had puppy love but she knew she wanted a relationship with someone she could show affection. So when she read the article about molecular glue, she knew someone had made something just for her. After a few hours of navigating the Skid Row avenues of the internet, she ordered some.