Father has a pound of tobacco
laced at his chest, while he siphons
the dreg like flies and mulls
over the yesterdays: how he grew
by the Rust Belt, raked the flatlands,
& killed a cow in manhood.
He throws pin-sized stones
at the pigeons– they scatter
while our throats ache for quarter cent
sodas, sold at a discount for extra cash.
I rise and leave him– my limbs
thin and unsure as I think about
his black lungs wheezing from men
who cry at him for stealing their jobs:
willy Orientals, exportable poor.
I let the ground swallow me,
as I think about our small harvests,
father before his skin shrunk taut
like lime & broken-necked sparrows.
And I think about the time I passed
by the boys, the ones father called
idling beggars, who stuck used heroin needles
into their arms, opened their mouths
to drain blasphemy from their livers,
eclipsing into feigned nests.
B Y A L I S H A Y I
Alisha Yi attends Ed. W Clark High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her work has been commended by the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Hollins University, among others and anthologized in the Best Teen Writing of 2016. Her work will also appear in the 2016 ART.WRITE.NOW.DC exhibit.
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