he had me at
“I, too, sing America…”
as he stood there rehearsing
his presentation
on Langston Hughes
my almost fourteen year
old hipster white kid
with prescription Ray-bans.
“I am the darker brother…”

I’m mesmerized by his interest.
and swallow a knot as I choke up on his mess-ups eyes water up on his ums and I means but redeemed by his ‘he really captured me there.’

you’re captured? I’m captured by your love attention to detail of a scholar’s dedication to the word.

“They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
and eat well,
And grow strong.”

you too son are growing stronger than I’ve ever imagined never fathomed same interests in reality only long shot expectations and unrealistic perceptions. I’m glad you are you. either way.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes
Nobody’ll dare
say to me,
‘Eat in the kitchen,’

as I watch your mom thumb through, read on, in a spoken word voice truths of this moment no choice but tears tearing their way through my heart to cuff as I wipe them clear you continue

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.”

and you too son
have my

you’re much further along than I was at fourteen.