there is much more to go around than
we think we have bundled up inside us
holiday wrapping paper we are—gifts
untapped, repurposed, returned
i have discovered designer boots don’t wear as well in indiana winters
where the sun shines on some & has a soft heart for the vitamin d deficient.
often i am reminded milk still does the body marvelous
my frigidaire swears by almond, rice, reduced sugar soy.
if you must know—i am lactose intolerant, microaggression
intolerant. climate apathy intolerant. every letter of the alphabet—tolerant.
how come we are what we eat—breaded tenderloins & deep-fried twinkies
state fair’s finest candied apples roasted corn lemon shake-ups
how come we walk like hoosiers everywhere we go
tiptoeing across the thin black ice of an ever rounding city
where last year’s potholes will be this year’s potholes
where motor speedway races & grand dragons pinpoint us on the map
where no matter how many times you recheck wikipedia
michael is from gary, gary is in lake county, indiana
which makes the king of pop homegrown as any other peculiar crop of us
yet the king never lived here. is not among the cemetery notables
buried in crown hill
unlike etheridge mari wes—our other greats
might suppose midwest artists have their own
manner of living & dying
aiming to make each note swing
unsquare the circle
rebels ms. evans calls them.
Allyson Horton is the author of Quick Fire, her first collection of poetry (Third World Press Foundation). She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University. Her poems have appeared in It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip Hop, Brilliant Fire! a collection of literature on the life and legacy of Amiri Baraka and Black Panther: Paradigm Shift or Not? Her work has most recently been published in the literary journal African Voices. Currently, she teaches and resides in her hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana.