A minister blames this on the slaughter of unborn children. We enter a tunnel, and my breath
holds itself for comfort. My father suggests we find a copy of The Green Book and pray over
it. A car full of black people driving past confederate statues. A strawberry zooms past my left
ear. The wind smashes it against the bark of cedar. A fish drowns itself in the Mississippi. The
one-eyed tabby is not allowed in the hotel. She too will float, but in a different city. Three Ritz
crackers on a paper plate. There was a bush separating the hotel from a supermarket. The
president tries to separate himself from responsibility, but we see him too. Put those back.
You’re not wearing hand-me-down underwear. I eat lifted grapes. You call it stealing, adults
call it building credit. Don’t you know I don’t know where we are? What to do in a country that
never wanted me here? Did you hear the one about God? I am blamed for laughing the hotel
room into an awkward silence. My aunt sleeps, deaf as hands in the dark. Two hurricanes in
the same week? Such sororal horror.