The Great Disconnect
After Eileen R. Tabios – I Do <know English>
I do know English.
You shout words at me as if I’m deaf. I would force you to hear me if I could.
I do know English hunger.
My stomach leads to my ass and out a shit hole just like yours.
I do know English love.
My pussy is hungry for passion, not just an ornament for you to buy or steal.
I do know English tree.
My feet, rooted. My womb, roomy. My heart connects to my chi. I bloom springtime and pheromones.
I do know English bird.
My wings whir, blink and I’m gone, look and our eyes connect.
I do know English color.
My night, your day. My fall, your spring. We, two face Janus. Volcano romance erupts, ash blocks both our suns.
I do know English possession.
Empire America builds your pipeline, icepicks in living flesh. Winter protest in Montana.
I do know English McMansion.
A one room apartment for six. Piles of unfolded clean laundry on futon, dirty garments on floor, cat piss smell. No time to clean.
I do know English sun.
I wake and come home in dark, work three jobs to pay rent, food and clothes. Mis ninos know warm sun on face and in belly. For me, sun a good memory.
I do know English read-and-write.
I take English class at library, my children translate to teacher and doctor. No write Mayan. I read Spanish book and English spell: “green card”, “citizen”, “dream”.
racial profiling : skinny
people of color kill white police, fear and hate
hate, white police fear and kill people of color
at Fort Lauderale Airport
weighs more than black cloud pillars,
those storms that come out of season,
and dump rain for weeks and months
but never reach the drought stricken.
Desolation. Over shooters.
And victims randomly killed ~
police, sikhs, gays,
government workers, elected officials,
racers and bystanders at marathons,
theater and church goers,
school and college students,
people at senior centers ~
no one is safe anywhere.
The violence unravels sunshine,
leaves families wailing.
It’s the pain of dry oats
stuffed in a belly
that swells and bursts.
It’s not black paint,
humans are pooled and splattered
on ceilings and floors.
Whether skin be black, white or yellow,
whether the religion be Muslim, Jew or Christian,
all spilled blood spells senseless carnage.
Ingrid Bruck is a poet/storyteller/retired library director. Current work appears in Howl of Sorrow: A Collection of Poems Inspired by Hurricane Sandy, Quatrain, Fish and Unbroken Journal. She lives in Amish Country in Pennsylvania, a landscape that inhabits her poetry. Published work: ingridbruck.com