Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Today, God

I am liberated and focused today
on what it means to govern myself.

I am not watching the news
or wearing a bra.

I will not question America
or ask where it was last night.

I went to bed with a cold fact
With no cuddling, after.

Today, God I want nothing
not even the love I have been praying for.

On the train, I won’t offer
anyone my seat.

No one ever moves for me
Some days, not even the wind.

Today, I will be like the flag
that never waves.

At work, I will be black
and I will act like it.

They will mispronounce my name
And this time I won’t answer.

I will sit at my desk with my legs open
and my mind crossed.

Credit


Copyright © 2020 by Starr Davis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 31, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“I wrote this poem amid the 2016 election. There was a stench in the air, so foul, no matter where I was (whether it was my office or the subway)—hate and prejudice. The day after the election results, I remember being so afraid to leave my studio apartment in the Bronx, mostly because it was too quiet outside, and in the South Bronx, it is never quiet. This poem started as a prayer, ‘Today, God.’ I was preparing myself to brave the corporate office I worked in as an administrator, with two supervisors who were vocal Trump supporters—aiming to arm myself with the courage to combat the fear I felt deep inside, fear that I was now living in a world where I would have to fight harder than I have ever fought before.”
Starr Davis

Author


Starr Davis

Starr Davis holds an MFA from the City College of New York. The Creative Nonfiction Editor for TriQuarterly Magazine, she lives in Houston, Texas.

Date Published: 2020-08-31

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/today-god