Two Poems by Truth Thomas

These two poems by Truth Thomas aim to serve as agents of intervention for an ever-nodding, needle-marked with nihilism America, strung out on uncut racism, misogyny, and poverty porn, before there is no “bottom” left to hit…

by: Truth Thomas

Dear Lord of Fast Food Mercy

White Privilege got mad at me today,
bumped into me when I didn't move out
of her way at Chick-fil-A, as she was 
carrying a big bag of red and white fatness—

and she had food too,

got mad at me, standing as I was, planted
pylon as I was, without the password 
of “Excuse Me.” I endured the pickles
of her expression, the toilet of her touch.

and this it the important part, God:

In the presence of all the frowning
waffle fries expecting a salty reply, 
you will be happy to know that I did not
curse out this woman, poet as I am, 

because “Fuck you”and “Bitch,” 
do not alliterate.
This is a Test; This is Only a Test

How many coat hangers does it take to carry
a “Pro-Life” sign? (This is a trick question.)

All of them. So, careful if you come across one
at a rally. I've seen their tongues lacerate

a 15-year-old Black girl, cut right through
the Roe v. Wade of her uterine artery

to bleed-gush-flood the back seat of a navy blue
1965 Mustang, with wire wheels and a white

convertible top—in 1968, the year I learned
the words “hemorrhage” and "septic" 

and that my mother, Spanish teacher,
was also an ambulance.

Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and NAACP Image Award-winning poet, born in Knoxville, Tennessee and raised in Washington, DC. He studied creative writing at Howard University and earned his MFA in poetry at New England College. His poems have appeared in over 150 publications, including Poetry Magazine and The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni).  

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