Making Lists

Published September 20, 2019 by April Fox

When I was 5 or 6 years old,

I came home from school and told my mother

I couldn’t play with Jerome and Michael anymore

because they smelled bad.

“What do you mean, they smell bad?”

“They’re black,” I told her.

“My friend told me not to play with them, because black people

smell bad.”

“That’s stupid,” she said.

“Black people don’t smell any different than anyone else. I think she smells bad.”

When I was in middle school, I walked down the hall with my friend Ceaph

on our way to orchestra class.

He played the upright bass,

I played the violin and viola

and people called me NIGGER LOVER now

when they used to just call me short

and ugly.

Bobbie couldn’t play the violin, they said,

because black people don’t do that.

But those people couldn’t play shit

so what did they know?

Why’d they have to come to our school?

The hallways were getting uglier.

She got big titties cause she’s black. Black girls got big titties.

Skinny white me didn’t have any titties, so that one I thought might have been true, a little bit.

You know what goes on over in Dunbar?

I didn’t know what any of that meant.

They smelled like coconut, Jerome and Michael did.

When I’m anxious, I make lists.

Jerome.

Michael.

Bobbie.

Ceaph.

 

One comment on “Making Lists

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