everytime i speak, my gums bleed


english, a kind of pesticide, kills honeybees.
the crude stingers of verbs chap my lips.
i learned my abc’s in flatbush, isle of glottal
stigmatas, mother tongues strapped
to the spiked back of the queen. summer
the dandelion’s fur gets airborne. summer
a black girl cups its hairs, makes a wish
in the only language she knows. the heavens
rain teeth seven days & nights, jamals
akiras awaken hysterical, toothless
clawing their mouths. the wind, ancient
interpreter, throbs. hums. like a didgeridoo.

Amber Atiya