06.14.2019
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

MATTHEW DICKMAN

from The 45th Sutra

I woke up this morning in a white bed
inside my white apartment, 

I was wearing my white dressing gown
and in my mouth were my white teeth, 

I had my white hands and my white feet,
my white face, 

my boss-face
looking in the mirror being all like you’re so bossy. 

I ate white bread and drank
a cold glass of white milk, drank it all at once  

like lemonade when it’s hot
and I’m sitting on my white porch. 

I grabbed my white money and my white car keys
and drove down the white street

which is every street
in every town in every city 

and I park in front of a white café
in a black neighbourhood 

and click the little white clicker that sets the alarm
and locks the car doors 

so I can leave my white car at the curb I just made white
and not worry over it, 

not have the color drain from my face,
not be the employee of my black fears  

but the boss,
that’s all I’ve ever been taught,

to be the boss,
to be cute and tall and white and walk

down the street like I made the street
and really I did, 

made it a white street
by walking on it, 

and when I pass by white people
I don’t even look at them,  

I don’t

really notice them unless they are
really black, 

then I look at them, and open up
my white face, 

and pull a smile out of it like look
I only look like a boss, 

I’m not a boss at all,
really I’m barely alive, 

I’m the one goodgoodgoodgoodgood white,

god, really I’m dead, only I know

how to walk in exactly the right way
so it looks like I’m alive.

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Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem, Mayakovsky's Revolver, 50 American Plays, Brother, and Wonderland. He is the poetry editor for Tin House Books and lives in London, England with his partner and their two sons.  

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