Carefully, i arrange my disguise. It has been designed not to stand
out . . . i decide to look like a poor Black woman.
i’m good with my tongue. it
makes me most visible.
with a shut mouth I’m a good dresser. a
flapping tongue makes me:
my voice is more pronounced than my skin tone and
i need to know why
i track down my ancestry through DNA
i track down someone with my last name
she tell me it’s hers
says it’s funny how I’m black i
results say i’m hers
in old law
in old English
say her great greats
owned my greatest on
“wow,” she say
and i hold my tongue. tight. between molars. ’til it
bloody and useless
’til i can’t speak
’til she don’t see me
and swallow back the blood i ain’t ask for in the first place
From dayliGht by Roya Marsh. Used with the permission of MCD x FSG Originals. Copyright © 2020 by Roya Marsh.