Something Hominal

— Luther Hughes

inside the womb, everything is black & animalistic. everything a fist thrusting me forward.

remove me, i remember thinking, take me now seattle.
but not too fast.

an incision is made along the abdominal wall. a cut across the uterus.
light leans into me like a thumbprint. i’m clenched at the rib. removed tenderly—

does the doctor know of my grandfather?
how osteoarthritis took. where the monster rives first.

i’m young & know death.

i’m young & already fiending for the body: how it conceals. how it grants human connection: call it hereditary: a veering hand: infection—

                    to be clear: i’m black. i’m a boy with diseased lineage;
                    the sapling of rotted trees. wilt. wilt—

i feathered inside the doctor’s palms. my flesh, paled copper, swallowed by the boneish hem of the room. i hear many questions: is he breathing? is he alive?

is this a black boy’s life?

i don’t know much about my body. what crevices. what merits entry inside.

i command the doctor with the howl of my mouth: how his fingers ferry this body. from his hands, my father is beastly. looms over; shadow oblong; darkness; i’ve been crying

& wanting another man’s touch
but i’m given to my mother; what of my body? it inherits. it fails to communicate. it spends its innards: oxygen for blood. blood for pleasure.

i’m not asking for answers. i want to be taught:

who touches me, seattle?
what fills this body once i leave these hospital walls?


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