Billie said, “If I’m going to sing like someone
else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” Let’s
just say I was white and knew how to conform.
My father, affectionately known
by his sons as Doodles, took up painting-by-the-numbers.
His vision of blue jays hung over the toilet to be
reckoned with by any urinating male.
Consider my mother gazing out her window
over the kitchen sink as she washes breakfast, lunch,
and dinner dishes for fifty-some years.
My mind yearns for sleep so innocently it refuses
the perverse truth…
In the act of eating watermelon no one
ever pulled a trigger, spoke harshly
to a child, swatted a butterfly out
of the sky, or told a lie for money.