i am from red clay and backroads.
streets of dirt and gravel, turn-at-the-red-mailbox- driveways
calves and chicks and piglets growing “just old enough”
across the black ocean of asphalt.
i am from steeples and pulpits
singing every verse, piano and organ
burst forth from the loins of grace
and the womb of mercy
“praise Him”, they say
but, i wait
my mother, tourniquet and cinder-block
chicken pot pie and biscuits and
amoxicillin withered into promethazine, and methotrexate
tired eyes, salt-and-pepper straw, in bed by 7
my father, dark roast and devotion
10:55 sermon, 3:00 prayer meeting, service at 5:00
withered into going to bed with the door unlocked
“he’ll be home later”
knees scraped to the bone
from the force of the hands
holding me in a kneel.
listening to the chorus of souls, chanting
“what he does is more important than you”
put up or shut up
my y chromosome longs to really meet its donor
howling at the moon, sleeping on the doormat
waiting for the “click” of the open and close
even if it comes too late
i am from clenched fists.
flushed cheeks, furrowed brows
“How dare you say that?” and
“You can’t hide it from me.”
stay in the lines
repeat the words
written on the script
by the ones who created me without my asking.
1. we will always love you
2. you can always come home