Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol.21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Pace the table scratches and inked boredom
of my youth. I am responsible for all of it.

When I tried to ignore her, I was impossible.
There is a word in Chickasaw for you, she said.

Chepota loma the bastard. I didn’t think
I existed. The word existed. In that other tongue.

A wobble in the uneven of oak chair.
An auntie stables behind me.

Other family lean in too.
We posture the pause.

She could birth the words for being fatherless
to me again. Walked away from.

My hands clamp the chair,
wait to be called something with my wandering stutter

I call accent. A name that will stain until her death
or we declare she is her own disaster.  

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