I wander into Guanajuato – Tripe maybe – or chicaron stewed in green sauce
Is that called guisado? I don’t know I don’t speak Spanish
I just live in a Spanish ghetto, black ghetto, white ghetto, not really a ghetto at all, just a group of houses with poor people living inside. I’m maybe the poorest, except Nyesha next door: good hair, 19 with a 4yr old and a Dominican boyfriend
who blocks her car in so she can’t go out but
I know people think I’m stuck up, look at that morena with the old white husband.
When I push the stroller to the park I hear them call me, come here chica! Oh what’s the matter?
you only like white dick?
Damn girl I’ll put a black baby in your belly to go with that white one.
What is it they think when they offer to occupy my womb, the space between my thighs for an afternoon. Do they think if they put flesh inside me to stay for nine months that they own a part of my belly,
or my soul? Like a timeshare condo
or like the houses here with rent to own signs in the yards.
And maybe all that is on my mind when I walk past the
white junkies by the shopping carts, dope sick all of them, and I almost give them
my 2 dollars
because I can’t stand to see anyone dope sick, never have. There is something
like clotted evil about
walking away, like eating sunflower seeds at a
And maybe because I do walk away, it puts me in the mood for tripe and skin, even lengua is
too clean for what I’m feeling.
I need to eat guts, and think about the pig they came from. Did it still struggle on the hook while they pulled its innards out into a steaming bucket of offal and shit?
The man ahead of me in line kisses his lips at me and buys my tripe.
When I sit down with it, he frowns and cocks his head like
I’m supposed to be so grateful, I’ll suck his dick right there
between the stacks of yerba buena tea and votive candles so I take my
paper plate and wander down the candle aisle looking for
a better Virgin
candle. I bought one when I was trying to have a baby.
I kept it lit while we fucked endless babymaking rounds. But the paper cover is getting faded and I left the window open when it rained so
Guadalupe’s robes are wrinkled now, the color of a ball sack pulled up tight
right before orgasm.
If the Virgin Mary lived in Haughville would those men outside the dollar general offer to put a black baby in her? Would they mind getting god’s sloppy seconds?
But all that’s useless here, there are no blue candles to the Virgin Mary only
black ones for Santa Muerte,
La nina blanca,
skeletal patron saint of drug dealers and
I eat my guts and stare her down, a wall of black stretching
down the store, and
she grins at me from under her hood,
her long tongue licks the bones where her lips should be. Points to the taco,
can I have a bite, she asks?
Nasreen copyedits for a living, and writes poetry to stay sane. She grew up in West Africa and Indonesia and moved to the wide and gritty American Midwest by way of New York City. She and her toddler son live in their bungalow on Indianapolis’ Near Westside. On a Friday night she can be found cooking various organ meats or chasing down a stellar mint julep.
Her Indianapolis writing is all a tribute to Haughville. Since moving to Indianapolis three years ago and putting down roots, walking the streets of Haughville and becoming part of the fabric here has kept her grounded. Haughville has been the tableau for building community, exploring her queer identity, motherhood, changing careers and teaching her son about race.