Jonathan Gold Might've Written it Differently

It happens quickly
And I’ve never been quick-witted.
Holding you close,
The scent of baby powder
And shampoo
Still fresh among
The crown of soft,
Jet-black hair
Falling in gentle waves
Across your head.

But, it happens quickly
And I’ve never been quick-witted.
Nor inclined to being impolite
Or unpleasant
Or whatever else they call
Brown people who are less than
Obviously grateful to
*just be here, mister!*
Especially with you
And your mother near.
And they aren’t just anyone.

Yes, it happens quickly
And I’ve never been quick-witted.
So when he nods at you -
All onesie and cooing
And cute-as-a-button you -
And says,
“Bet you’re Pro-Life now.”
It takes all of my will
To swallow my tongue.
Tonight, I know my silence
Tastes like shame.

 Riverside, CA. 2018. Photo credit: AJ Joven Additional photo credit: Poloraid by Luis Chavez, http://advtrcollective.com

Riverside, CA. 2018. Photo credit: AJ Joven Additional photo credit: Poloraid by Luis Chavez, http://advtrcollective.com