All the ways, in this year that I trembled in fear—
by my lonesome, with my momma, texting with friends
or beside my husband while scared for my
child’s life. I remember now how my momma
used to say you’ll understand when you’re older and
despite all of her certainty, and sad assurance, I never knew.
Until it felt like my chest was caving in under
each new burden. I didn’t know it was the weight of the world.
Didn’t know it could crush a lesser me, like Oreos in a fist.
Fuck me for believing in what had already failed me
and my momma and my Big Ma, and
Great Grandma Elma, and every man, woman and child
back through the line, as they watched
hands extended to every White-ish man, woman,
and child who washed up to these shores. Can
I get a slice of pie? in this pandemic? I’m not particular!
I’ve had humble—will accept any a little sweet—
just give a little. For lack of fruits I learned to make cinnamon
rolls. Remembered unlike an impeachment, I won’t be
killed on the Congress floor, but—the curb, running, likely sleeping.
If the ‘Rona don’t get me. True story—
large swaths of our population died. Many who paired resentment
and slogans like wine and cheese. I’ve seen men perish
mad and alone trusting in madness and lies.
In the name of liberty! All that ‘don’t tread on me’—
never conceding—from their graves. I wanted
to enjoy the world again. But murder hornets and hurricanes!
O’ 2020 how you fucked with my spirit!
I craved open air but couldn’t see the forest through the burning.
Prescriptions kept me going. My anxiety required
the Cymbalta & Lexapro & Wellbutrin & cbd. I
quested for better feelings. My momma and The Shirelles said
there’d be days like this, but I didn’t know that stress makes
roadkill of the body. I’m getting old and still wanted
to fight in the rebellion, but also have health benefits.
Sis—this shit right here is for the birds. The pigeons over took
the city, are relics of other wars. The world
taught me again that hunger isn’t temporary. We got our fill
or died trying.
Angelique Zobitz (she/her/hers) is the author of the chapbook Love Letters to The Revolution from American Poetry Journal and the forthcoming chapbook Burn Down Your House from Milk & Cake Press. She is a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee, 2021 and 2020 Best New Poets nominee, Spring 2019 Black River Chapbook Competition Finalist, and a five-time Best of the Net nominee. Her work appears in The Journal, Sugar House Review, Obsidian: Literature & Arts of the African Diaspora, Yemassee, The Adirondack Review and many others. Luna Luna Magazine named her one of ‘5 Poets of Color to watch in 2021’ alongside Chen Chen and Amanda Gorman. She can be found at www.angeliquezobitz.com and on Twitter and Instagram: @angeliquezobitz