It was a whale-sized anchor,
eroded and stuffed inside a clamshell
forced down my throat
sinking in my saliva.

It was my uncle
chained to a Buick Skylark
eating a broken bottle
that shattered like my father’s eyes
at the sight of his son sleeping in the womb,
barbwire attaching me to my mother.

It looked like my grandma’s iron pot
boiling river water and collard greens,
and my calloused feet pacing a prison cell
with a wishing well adjacent to a metal bunk
with an elephant’s tusk that sliced away follicles
of my skin every time I tossed and turned.

It was my son with an afro and a mustache,
standing in a field of snow with flip-flops
and no gloves, holding a basketball and a bus ticket.

It happened the day Minneapolis died
and a black rainbow galloped across the sky
and me and my cousins chased it.

Copyright © 2018 Kevin Reese. This poem and translation originally appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review. Used with permission of the author.