My family doesn’t make photo albums anymore, by D’mani Thomas

My family doesn’t make photo albums anymore. Just dirty carpets, prayers and missing posters in every unsaved number. Just recipes of triumph in scar tissue, diabetes medicine splayed out next to a tower of peppermint candies. Like god is praying on the weakest of us with an alzheimered memory/ forgotten remorse/ what does not kill us makes us stronger, so thinning blood and darwin’s theory must be distant cousins.

Speaking of distance. I have not seen some people since the news coverage turned kardashian. Hurricane Katrina and my family are the same in that some government condoned a violence, and no one’s heard from them since. Tangent: believe all of this to be true. Last I heard, the boy that taught me to pop fireworks in the fragile of my palms, was living in a football stadium. Maybe? Maybe someone told me otherwise once .Maybe i’m choosing what to question mark. Maybe i’ll ask what happened to him when my grandmother wakes up.

I am a water baby. Salt water and some ligaments in the shape of bloat fish for stomach, minnow for rare organs, octopus tendrils for appendages i might scab and grow back. I know

What it means to swim in packs and try not to die. Survivor of two oceans trying to kill me. One atlantic /One I call a body . The killing joke

My kin is my kin, is your kin, heard that’s her kin too.

Fictiv in blood, but we can see it everywhere.

So when I found out Janis Joplin once said, “being black for a while, will make [you] a better white.”

I thought.

It’s just so easy to be Black these days ya know’

Rachel and Danielle paved the way for them. Like it’s in their DNA now:

Fake Bantu notted Oakland tongue double helixes. weaves into over priced top ramen diet.

If you are what you eat, then to consume a body means you too are NWA, section 80, hurricane katrinas red line, the subject of Old Kanye’s “George Bush doesn’t give a fuck about black ppl speech”

In front of me,

Some silhouette watches the slave trade happen

And somewhere, a white girl says she can’t be racist, says she’s only 17 , but 1/8th Ida. B.

Says – she loves the NFL and streetball and if she could she would let pornhub’s entire BBC category start a daycare in her stomach

I laugh

Tell her I think she has my great grandmother’s mouth in her teeth

I say,

My country loved me blue

My country took my dust soaked skeleton and put me in a thrift shop my probable children can’t afford.

My country loved me once and never texted me back.


Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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