It So Happens

Sarah Ricks

…in this country I am the priced commodity export,

not just of oil

but my human flesh and bone

are lucrative 


and in the night

among the sex trafficking

I am the solitude of the silver street pole

I am in between that thin layer amid cold winds

I am the audacity of the love gods



in this same country

light rain will slant into my valley-life

and into each my friends


we are transacted-girls


our barcodes are lined by

hip and breast size

age and skin tone

I suspect, that here

in the quiet snow

a newborn breathing those first new nights

will wade in the vibrations of blue horse-slave hoofs


in the day I sink into my lily’s amenity

I am exhausted and

I’d rather let the flowers do

what they do best

by there existence they

expose ugly injustices in all

I want to offer a radically distinct

alternative to buying

those daughters,

these sisters,

our mothers, my friends

I want an alternative to selling me









until dawn

you kept me

in strict confinement

as my cracked lips pressed

against one another


until now,


I say no

to your dictation

that I am

the wet back

the nigger

the whitey

the squint eye

your inadequate portrait of class,

of me, and my people


I see no other option

than to spit refusal

in your face for my children’s sake


from this moment on


I backhand

your perceived color’s

and formed gangs

that gradually become locked

in the sonorous meshes of the death-nets

webbed with jail cells

sticky with no fathers

and responsible for 

aborted education

aborted time



I cut your umbilical cord


connected to my thoughts

and bleed out lack

I will let you drain

from cupboards

from small empty bellies

and let you gradually ooze out of live skin

out of communities

out of me


out of undernourished skeletons

to reverse you


and believe me,

this is the beginning

of your end






































Looking through history


my eyes


keeping pace

with their reserved emotions

for subsequent discussion


tracking the movement

of their lives

through subsist

imperial stories


their plots were either


or complex


since their actions

were executed

naturally of

time and

my moons blood


their words

picked through

stained graves

of the young

and stumbled

over  clusters

of emotions





they made their

profession of

accurate revulsion

and devoted their

energies to

argumentative oratory


I was able to see

their ways

venture with Columbus through the native Indian,

the Mexican,

and see

their smile-spears

divide whole body-countries into colonies

and see

their lives break

the bread-Africa into crumbs…


this was my intended legacy


the accompaniment of

my birthright  


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