Edythe Rodriguez: 1 Poem

bombs over osage

a boarded window:

a soul’s eye so obscured we forget to call it a neighborhood.

silence drowned noise into the background.

a schoolteacher came home from work

a cute boy waved to me and Big Millie

while she spoke to Lil Millie through her screen door,

and all I see is trash. Tastykake and peanut

M&M wrappers, all I see is ruin and aftermath,

devastation where lives are.

“Are you trying to say it’s dirty?”

I’m not saying—

I’m trying—

dirty is a relative term and— yes.

I ain’t seen trash like this in a minute

I see a landfill so excuse

my dumping all this bourgeois baggage

ghostwhite bars call through pastel panels.

Who painted you? Who built houses on Ground Zero?

Who can walk here and not see a bomb,

a fire, not wear black, not hold this

wake, not trace an old scar on

this new body.

I’m not blind. I see the fence they

built you. The sleek windows

and straight-rowed shingles.

I see they got y’all looking

like a hood Ikea.

I see the eye rolls when I say John Africa,

I see you Big Millie,

I see a scar

on this place that I won’t forget

to call a neighborhood.


Edythe Rodriguez studies poetry and Africology at Temple University. She is a a Philly-based creative raised in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania poeticizing whiteness, racism, and the Black woman experience.