They never used the word sacrifice,
they always used the words a better life.
On the first journey,
I dropped the name that granted me wisdom
and the brightness of the sun and moon
for something equal in syllables
but meaningless in worth.
On the second journey,
I dropped the new words I had just mastered.
Gave up freeways for highways
and you guys for y’all.
It wasn’t enough to rip out my tongue
a second time
for y’all to see me as human.
Y’all wanted me to unflatten my nose.
Open my eyes.
than to use chopsticks.
Poke my eyes out with them
became my problem.
I should never have taken that load,
I should’ve thrown it off the side of the Appalachian mountain range
and hoped for it to crush y’all
on its way down
rather than let y’all crush me.