Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Moon Is Two Half-Moons Joined Together

Her body still // yoked to histories retold // so often even her great-grandmother, who lived it, cannot // remember the river’s name she // crossed to get here. Tigris. Rio Grande. Euphrates. How the men & more // men & when the men were done, they’d touch finger to forehead to chest to shoulder & zip up their flies. How sometimes the world // works like that. The bullet passes right // through & on the other side another // language to learn, another god to // feed, & a child that wears half your face. Try not to take it // as a sign, how they see // you, momma says. The books the kids don’t read don’t mention it. This name. That first name. The constellations it takes to turn // sky into map. How boys still // rock-paper-scissor their way to cruelty, which hurts // less than their taking her // as white, which at least means they love // what they see. & a red clay stain that once was a river.  

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