after Wanda Coleman

Ms. Birdsong what a beautiful last 
Ms. Birdsong are you the head of your 
Ms. Birdsong your total today comes to 
Ms. Birdsong your insurance will only cover
Ms. Birdsong can you please step out of 
Ms. Birdsong your test results are back and
Ms. Birdsong I am going to refer you
Ms. Birdsong thanks for your recent donation but
Ms. Birdsong you have been randomly selected for
Ms. Birdsong unfortunately you were not chosen
Ms. Birdsong I am calling about your past due
Ms. Birdsong do you really have a Ph.—
Destiny what a beautiful first 
Destiny are you related to someone
Destiny I can’t remember if that’s a wig but
Destiny if you’re not too busy I 
Destiny you are never on time for 
Destiny I’m not ready for a serious
Destiny I really need to ask if
Destiny this time I promise I
Destiny well I’m sorry if you felt like 
Destiny don’t hold your breath because 
                                             [Destiny, they will kill you and say you—] 
Destiny when will you be coming

Copyright © 2021 by Destiny O. Birdsong. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 5, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.