I am jealous of people who know where they come from. Of the

“My grandma is from Jamaica

like slick straight from Jamaica.”

Smooth speech like patois is cocoa butter smooth on your back/

side and

“My dad’s family has lived in the south his whole life”

Junebugs on a summer night, accents heavy like

legs over thick branches and

switches on back/


Who can tell me how plantains taste if  fried in bacon grease.

Of the first generations,

Hungarian still itching to be scrawled across tongue types.



If I had to

tell you

where I come from,

you would get a story,

and not a sentence.

I wish this skin always came with nationality.


One day last year, my mother found

that the branches in our lineage

stretch across the Caribbean Sea.

We have St. Kitts

fast pumping drums

in the

echoic corners of our  blood

Makeshift ethnicity does not mandate

more love

does it?


I come from,

teal chipping

teapots on the stove,

and Erykah on the stereo on



U-Hauls packed to the top

trecked across country or state.

With a mother in the driver’s seat and

a child in the cab.


Once, when I was young,

and again when my father was,

and many times before either of us.


We are migration, and midnight melody skin.

Broken statistics,

called whitewashed,

told beautiful.

You: freckles and penned poetry.

Him, sentences spit, dreams dropped


Slick straight from the midst of

all of this.