Poem: Miscegenation


A text from my goth friend said,
“Oh great, now we’re talking
about Black Lives Matter
and Colin Kaepernick.” I knew
exactly where that was going
before I received the next
text, and where it was going
was downhill fast considering
her extended family. I imagined
our president elect’s townhouse
at Christmas time, minimal or
functional or some might even
say clean, the halls decked
with boughs of his all-American
White children, each more perfectly
dressed for an upscale catalog
than the next. “He’s not even
Black, he’s half Black. He’s only
growing an afro now to try
and be more Black.” As soon
as they went there, I thought
to myself: good for Kaepernick.
Good for him, trying to own his own
Blackness. It made me want to grow
out my Chicano facial hair again,
like Luis Valdez or like my uncle Jorge
or like an indigenous warrior or at least
like Cantinflas, and paint the word
across my chest for the world to see.
But would I be seen? Pocho that I am,
I might walk in on my goth friend’s
family and say: “Kaepernick’s jersey
is still the #1 best-selling jersey
in the NFL, according to Forbes,”
as if an actual fact could erase
a lifetime of learned allegiance.

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