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The Black Proletarianization of the Bourgeois Form Isn’t Kanye West’s Gospel Samples

O, Death. Your singular eye. My mother speaks the King’s English. Makes quiche. Makes clove

pomanders in winter. Pawned her flute. Cleaned my elementary school classroom. What is

hers? Brillant song, my mother, sotto voce, in her chair asking for touch. It is drowning she

means, not freedom. I swam fine. Don’t you get it, O Death, my mother is elegant alive, entering

the blue hole of evening, alone. You could reach into the frame, pull her out. O Death, I’ve been

crueler— I’ve watched.

from InheritanceFind more by Taylor Johnson at the library

Copyright © 2020 Taylor Johnson
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Poems Taylor Johnson

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