Alabama, I Knew what you wanted from me even then, i knew you needed a back rub. i was ten when my best friend needed a speech for the D.A.R. banquet, and me being good with words, desperate to help, fashioning myself necessary i wrote a paean to your liberties, your bbqs, your fragile plastic toys, sea to shining see see me. and she loved it so much, that me on white paper, she loved me so hard that she read my words aloud on a stage in your old white mansion before an audience i couldnâ€™t enter since i have never ever been born american, never once was i birthed in alabama or new york. without worth or what you deserve, there is no justice i have wanted (still wanting) to be yours, to belong, to be your fawning immigrant help.
POETRY | 87
Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art selected for our 2019 contest issue.