This selection, chosen by Guest Curator H.V. Cramond, is from My Name & Other Languages I am Learning how to Speak by Jai-Alai Books in 2020.
Grandmother Blacks Out Her Yearbook Photos with Sharpie
Black as I am, Black as I am:
why it did not matter, the marker
on the photographs. She said.
She is so ugly anyway. She said. Her streaked square
severs smiling columns. She has caged herself
in shadow on the high-gloss page. Suicide
of memory: scrawl of black on eye, cheek, nose, lip
straining to grin. Pores bloated with ink.
Her scribbled expulsion. Exodus
of one. One portrait. One erasure.
One woman, exiled
into her own history.
Sixty years in the desert
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