by Juliette Givhan
Let’s experience life together
listen to Childish Gambino together
when we’re high—
sitting on the front porch,
watching the green bodies of walnuts
that will never come to fruition
fall out of the trees to shatter
on the deck’s dark brown boards.
Let’s pretend we would’ve had fun in the 50’s
been allowed to hand jive
with the white kids—
sit on their stools that spin,
believing Elvis invented Rock and Roll,
and ordering cream sodas
long past the time
that good girls went to bed.
Let’s pretend that racism died in the 60’s together,
that putting flowers in gun barrels
or getting spit on in diners
meant my parents weren’t alive
in a time that their marriage
would still be illegal—
my existence considered an abomination,
because maybe then I can pretend
that I’d let you love me.
That this skin I’m in
at this place in time
hasn’t only ever taught me
how to hate.
About the Author
Juliette Givhan is a Black poet who writes about myths and memes. Her work navigates themes of race, sexuality, family, and how the stories we grow hearing and telling effect our lives. Her work appears in ANMLY Magazine, Change Seven Magazine, and Two Hawks Quarterly, with forthcoming poems in Pidgeonholes Magazine and baest Journal.