The gift of giving

wilting trees
and houses built on sinkholes
lost traditions, and
blood lines soaking into the earth
eating away at the long-forgotten corpses of our lineage
broken mirrors holding disfigured reflections
of little brown girls
with twisted mouths and charred fingertips
these rest on creaky floor boards
and against old wooden walls
draped in white sheets
books with no spines
pages out of order and words that don’t fit
anything i feel
strewn across a room
that belongs to all whoever wishes it theirs
though my name is etched into the door jam
and my skin hangs from the knob

these are the things my family gave to me.

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