You Couldn't Keep Anything Down
I like to think the baby my father
beat out of my mother
before she married him
left their heart behind for me
to carry on our way out,
giving me the start
they knew our parents
were unable to give
either of us.
My father, charming and predaceous,
impregnated, proven by the near
dozen children wandering
alone across America, six different women.
In theory, this country had it coming.
Being half black, I almost
cheer his fearless recreation
of brown eyes and skin,
in our first graves, those white wombs
that have gotten men better
and more polite than my father shot,
or worse, and without so much as touching.
Slick motherfucker, my old man.
I want to salute him, but I am one
of his abandoned bastards. His reasons
for leaving aren't my politics.
My mother’s body is no country.
him, but her body looks like the earth’s
been trying to evict her for decades
and gravity is saying “Nuh uh, not up here.”
The effect is a woman the shape
of an old metal top:
Heaven pressing down, Hell pushing up.
A diamond ever spinning,
spinning toward her points,
birthed a child she’ll never
forgive for being born
with a weak stomach.