straight, white, cis

an homage to rupi kaur

Graphic by Julia Hedges, SM ’20

i see
my life
like a tree.

roots.

i was born
from my mama
with my daddy
by her side.
blue-eyed baby boy.
blond curls, pink cheeks

my mother fed me
soy-free baby formula.
i came out singing
because they played me
mozart in the womb.
they baptized me
in the river.
grandma and grandpa
kissed my feet and whispered
america.

trunk.

my parents hired a consultant
who got me into
private elementary school.
my teacher told me
you can be anything
when you grow up.”
i wanted to be president.
daddy said “aim higher.”

“gringo, gringo”
they yelled.
my church group
went to costa rica
to plant pineapples
with the costa ricans.

it hurt to be called
names based on how i looked.
couldn’t they see
we were helping them?

bark.

horace mann and horses, man
and hoarse voices hissing
you’re not good enough
you only got a four
on your bc calculus exam.
and so i got double time
and an adderall prescription
for adhd
that i didn’t have.

it felt good
to beat the system.

branches.

college was a time
to explore
the things about myself
that i had always
repressed.
i found out
i had a love for
economics.

it’s hard to respect
the MoMA
after you’ve visited
the louvre.
j’aime paris

leaves.

poor people should stop asking for so many handouts.
no one has ever given me anything for free.