Sunday, March 13, 2011


*For Codi

a name I call myself
that Puerto Rican pimp
who was my father
walked out the door
made a new family
never to be seen
or heard from again
except when mother
the one who remained
stirs up old spirits
with a story.
I never knew that man
never saw him
no, no even a picture
and why would I want to?
days when I needed him
he was vapor
and now
she tells me
You're a Puerto Rican
you should be proud
learn your history
but it's not my history
Puerto Rico
walked out the door
and now lives somewhere
in Chicago
where he probably
makes distant mentions of
I have a(nother) son
out there
I want nothing to do with
Puerto Rico
or that man
who chose to leave
all those years ago
I was raised Black
it's the reflection
I see
looking back at me
for now
I'll pretend
the Puerto Rican pain
is not there.

copyright 2007 Marissa Arterberry

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