What My Mother Said to Me the First Time I Was Chosen for a Random Security Check at the Airport (Part 1)
everything you are
can & will be used against you
What My Mother Said to Me the First Time I Was Chosen for a Random Security Check at the Airport (Part 2)
Let me elaborate.
This is the one fear I cannot save you from: they
will always choose you. It isn’t fair,
which makes it the truth. You
with your girlhood skin: brown is the color
of bloodstained, color
we don’t speak of in present tense.
Benediction in touch again & again. It’s past time
you learned to put your fear on airplane mode,
erase your own tongue. You must convince them
that every word you speak is not foreign,
which is to say: is not an anagram of death.
You’re a storyteller, my love.
Tell the tale they want to hear, the one
that starts with guilty until proven innocent,
the one that ends in confessional.
In this place where you’ve made the mistake
of breathing, it does not matter how small
you make yourself. My love,
I know you’ve done nothing wrong.
Still & again you must hold your peace
in your mouth. Nothing left to lose
but your limbs, your folding wreckage.
Close your eyes when they touch you.
Pray to the wrong gods.
Try to get out before boarding time.
I’ll be waiting for you on the other side.
Topaz Winters is the author of the poetry collections Heaven or This (2016), Monsoon Dream (Platypus Press, 2016), and poems for the sound of the sky before thunder (Math Paper Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in journal including Cosmonauts Avenue, Glass, Rust + Moth, Wildness, and Winter Tangerine. Winters is editor-in-chief and creative director at Half Mystic Press. An actor as well as a writer, Winters appears in the film Supernova (2017), directed by Ishan Modi.
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