I can fill my mouth with words

Swallow them whole or masticate slowly

But the hunger won’t go away

I can spit them out instead

Vomit like a sick child desperate to feel better

But the infection remains


I spoke with my grandmother last night

Terrified our words would eviscerate

31 years’ worth of tenderness

We’ve never talked so openly about race

But we’ve handled other explosives

Recovered from the same traumas

Her white skin, my black skin

Covered in each other’s insides

Our words cut, but I’m no longer afraid

We believe the same things we did before

But our minds have changed

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