I am white where it matters in front of the
camera I am an egg a cobweb when
my mother calls me Haloul I pretend not
to hear here I am a résumé doll
gown of paper checklist piss in a cup
I was afraid of my body but not
anymore now there’s respect this bitch
pantyless humming louder than
the machine I am white when
asked to be storyboarding my own
grandmother into a poem here I am
meet cute between egg & song
Turnpike // Ghost
Wrong morning, late train, I wearing red for you.
A girl-thief. Startled,
the train lurched between two smokestack towns.
The subway, eye of a concrete needle.
Orchids, purple-furred. Trashed along with the orange peels.
Tulip-wearer. I never understood Brooklyn,
how a place could be bigger than it was.
The bartenders ask if I want another before I’ve had a first.
You, frost-eyed, a lake in the pocket of your khakis. I launder,
fold the warm clothes,
find a porch inside them. You call me home. Home.
What an Oklahoman sky is made of:
arrows in red dirt, quilt in the home team’s colors.
Chimes to announce the wind.
My father wanted a suburban lawn. Warm biscuits at Red Lobster.
He knows America as equation to be memorized,
ghost + furniture + eastern turnpikes. Fog as home.
The expressway, congested with commuters,
cars that steer back the way they came. I never did learn to drive.
Even if I wanted to leave, I couldn’t.